Commitment to care cuts into US productivity

Productivity in the US is being hindered by the growing number of people
caring for ageing relatives.

The 2003 Elder Care Survey of HR professionals by the Society for Human
Resource Management (SHRM), found that employee expectations regarding elder
care benefits have increased and, as a result, most organisations expect costs
for these benefits to increase in the next five years.

SHRM president and chief executive Susan Meisinger said: "The
increasing need for elder care is an inevitability. Employers have an
opportunity to either anticipate and manage it in a way that benefits both the
employer and employees, or let it smack them in the face a few years from now,
dragging down productivity and increasing turnover as a result."

HR professionals estimate that nearly 15 per cent of employees in their
organisation deal with elder care issues.

Problems caused include employees missing a full day at work (59 per cent),
workday interruptions (44 per cent) and stress-related health problems (29 per
cent). Higher staff turnover was experienced by 16 per cent of HR

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