Caregiving and work: HR’s next big challenge (Guest commentary)

Urgency to develop program, policies to supprot employees
By Nora Spinks and Donna Lero
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/20/2011

Your project lead calls in sick. Well, she’s not really sick — her husband is having a lousy day after chemo. The branch manager needs to take leave next month because his mother is having hip surgery. Your best friend and colleague in another department just got back from England after spending two weeks helping her father move to an assisted living facility.

Combining caregiving and work is the new realty for the more than 2.3 million employees in Canada aged 45 and over. And it’s not just an older worker issue — many younger employees also combine care for an adult or senior while raising children at the same time.

As the population ages, workforce diversity increases, families become more complex and community resources shrink, the challenges of combining work and caregiving will be a reality for a much larger proportion of the workforce.