An ageing population in Singapore means we have seen an increase in the number of elderly requiring care. This translates into an increase in working caregivers, many of whom are juggling full-time jobs along with the burden of caregiving over a prolonged period of time.
Some may face challenges returning to the workforce after a long period of caring for their loved ones at home. Fortunately, there are exciting career opportunities available by Workforce Singapore. Learn more here.
Benefits To Supporting Caregiving Employees
There has also been an increasing number of caregivers falling in the “sandwich generation” — those between the ages of 40 and 65 simultaneously caring for their children, spouses, and parents — who often find themselves torn between their responsibilities at work and at home. There are also the millennial caregivers, who take on caregiving responsibilities at a younger age.
Caregivers more frequently report having depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, or pulmonary disease compared with non-caregiving employees. Caregiving may also take a toll on employee productivity and advancement.
Employers can benefit from supporting employees with caregiving responsibilities
- Increased employee commitment and loyalty.
- Improved staff morale and relationships.
- Decline in staff turnover and reduced cost of replacing employees.
- Reduced employee stress.
- Fewer unplanned employee absences from work.
What Employers Can Do
- Identify at-risk group and understand their needs. One of the easiest, lowest-cost ways to do this is to build a few questions about caregiving into employee engagement surveys, benefits open-enrollment processes, or other standard, regularly occurring HR-driven interactions with all employees.
- Amend policies to support caregivers in the workplace. Examples include Paid Time-Off Programmes, flexible work arrangements etc.
- Identify assets and resources in your organization that could be used to support caregivers. For example, several companies make their healthcare services and technology products for customers available to employees. Likewise, existing training vehicles may be adapted to deliver education for caregivers
- Training and Resources. Raise awareness of working caregivers and create a more supportive culture. Provide frequent communications and training for staff, leaders and management to help them better understand what caregivers may be going through and how they can better support them. Regularly communicate the caregiving resources available to management and employees.
- Track utilisation of specific offerings and measure employee satisfaction levels through simple surveys and focus groups. This feedback yields insights on what’s working well and less well and what to stop, start, maintain, or modify.
Adapted from “Caregiver Friendly Workplace Assessment Worksheet (AARP)”, “Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace: A practical guide for employers” (Nobel, Weiss, Wilson-Myers, & Pickering, 2017)
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