Compassionate care leave policies increase engagement, retention: Survey

'Reduce caregiver stress, burnout'

Providing compassionate care benefits is a good business practice, according to a survey by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), in partnership with the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.

A majority of organizations find there are clear business benefits to providing these policies, including increased employee engagement (61 per cent) and retention (56 per cent).

And almost one-half (49 per cent) said having a policy makes it easier for employees to return to work and re-integrate in the work team after caring for a loved one.

"Providing accommodations for employees caring for family members at end of life is one of the ways to reduce caregiver stress and avoid burnout. Workers who are supported through situations like this are more loyal and are more likely to stay with the company,” said HRPA CEO Bill Greenhalgh.

Three-fifths (59 per cent) of employers have formal compassionate care leave policies that recognize and accommodate employees' family and dependent care responsibilities for providing end-of-life care to loved ones, found the survey of 692 organizations.

Larger companies are more prone (82 per cent) to offer compassionate care leave than smaller companies (46 per cent). And unionized organizations are more likely to have a more formal compassionate care policy (86 per cent) than a non-unionized environment (69 per cent).

"With the exponentially aging baby boomer population, compassionate care benefits are quickly becoming an essential aspect of organizational policy," said CHPCA executive director Sharon Baxter. "Employees need the reassurance that they will be secure should they need to take a temporary leave to care for and support a gravely ill family member."

The survey can be found at hrpa.

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