The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers publishes new White Paper titled, “Invisible Overtime: What employers need to know about caregivers.”
Americus, GA – In addition to their paid jobs, approximately one in five employees serves as an unpaid caregiver for a loved one who is aging, ill, or disabled.
Today, the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI) released a new white paper titled Invisible Overtime: What employers need to know about caregivers. Invisible Overtime explores the complex realities facing millions of caregiver employees, how their dueling responsibilities affect the American workforce and economy, and how employers can and must be a part of the solution.
Over the course of the pandemic, caregivers have grown in numbers, their isolation has intensified, and their physical and mental health has suffered. As the country continues to grapple with the Great Resignation and employers race to fill vacancies, caregiving represents both a threat and an opportunity. Invisible Overtime explores the relevant research on caregivers who are currently or recently employed, and how employers might attract and retain the best talent with evidence-based solutions.
Major takeaways from Invisible Overtime include:
- Caregiving employees comprise a large portion of the US workforce: An estimated 18 to 22% of the US labor force is comprised of family caregivers.
- Maintaining both caregiving and work responsibilities is challenging: Caregiver employees provide an average of 20 unpaid caregiving hours per week.
- Attrition rates are directly related to employees’ caregiving responsibilities: Close to one-third of caregiver employees have voluntarily left a job at some point during their careers because of their caregiving responsibilities. Workplace and public policies designed to support caregiver employees are not widespread and evidence of their effects is needed.
- Supporting caregiver employees is good for the bottom line: The estimated average productivity loss due to presenteeism per caregiver employee was almost 11% and the average annualized at-work productivity cost was $5,281, assuming an hourly wage of $25. Caregiver employees missed an average of 3.2 workdays in the prior month, an estimated average productivity loss of 2.2%, or $1,123 per caregiver employee.
- Addressing caregiving is a business imperative and relevant to business leaders.
In addition to providing specific solutions for employers to consider within Invisible Overtime, RCI is also launching a new employer initiative, “Working While Caring,” which will seek to partner with employers to pilot new and innovative solutions to keep caregiver employees attached to the labor market for the long term.
“Family caregivers make up 20 percent of the workforce and they are in crisis – which means we are all in crisis,” said Dr. Jennifer Olsen, chief executive officer at the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers. “The issues surrounding caregiver employees have been bubbling beneath the surface for decades and we cannot afford to ignore them any longer. We are calling on employers to join us in taking bold steps toward solutions that will improve the lives of their employees and benefit the bottom line.”
About the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers:
The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers promotes the health, strength, and resilience of caregivers throughout the United States. Established in 1987 by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Institute’s priority is the unpaid family caregiver: those individuals who care for a relative, friend, or loved one. To learn more about RCI, its advocacy, how to participate in programs, or build a partnership, visit www.rosalynncarter.org.
Contact: Barbara Ann Luttrell, BarbaraAnn@RosalynnCarter.org, (334) 477-8849