- Thirty-two percent of employers responding to a survey said they lost employees due to the pandemic, with half citing child care concerns, according to a Nov. 19 report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
- Forty-nine percent of respondents said they would be likely to provide additional child care assistance if the government offered supplementary incentives and 20% said they are willing to invest more into it. The employers cited flexible working hours (44%) and remote work (36%) as the benefits they are most likely to implement
- While employers said they felt they do a good job of understanding their employees’ child care assistance needs and 71% feel that they provide “adequate” support in this area, just 13% of surveyed employers deployed surveys on the topic and 11% have held feedback sessions
Child care was an issue even before the pandemic, as a January study from Clutch found that working parents were experiencing financial hardship, job performance problems, and ultimately leaving jobs.
This problem was exacerbated by the pandemic, and the proof is mounting of the significant impact it is having on the workforce, particularly working mothers. The National Women’s Law Center pointed out that women and women of color are overrepresented among those that were unemployed at the time.
A study from Cleo found that women lose 49% more work time than men and 61% of women said they feel responsible for the majority of caregiving in their partnership, compared to 26% of men. The study also said women are 15% more likely to adjust their hours as a result of child care and that a quarter of respondents said they are looking for a new job to “better accommodate their dual role.”
Employers just weeks ago reported that they are increasing benefits around childcare, according to a survey from Willis Towers Watson. But the turnover data appears to disagree with employers’ overwhelming belief that they are doing enough. Flexibility and remote work are strong offerings to support all employees that may have different needs during this time, and other measures taken by employers include financial stipends, extra time off, on-site and virtual programming for employees’ children, as well as mental health support for employees’ children.
Experts have also suggested manager training as a potential salve to dealing with employees’ childcare needs. The Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) said in a July report that managers do not have adequate training on benefits and resources available to caregivers.