Company provides paid caregiver leave to round out work-life balance support
COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 25, 2021) – Employee benefits provider Colonial Life and parent company Unum (NYSE: UNM) have a new benefit for their employees: paid caregiver leave. Starting this year, the company will provide five consecutive business days of paid leave for eligible U.S. employees who need time away from work to care for a spouse, child, or parent due to a serious health condition.
One in six workers are caregivers, but less than one in five have access to paid family leave benefits. Unum’s research among more than 600 working caregivers across the country found the toll of caregiving far-reaching. Many working caregivers face stress, anxiety, or depression (61%), exhaustion (49%), and financial strain (44%).
“Paid caregiver leave helps support the emotional and financial wellbeing of our employees and their families when they need it most,” said Tim Arnold, president and chief executive officer at Colonial Life. “It allows them to focus on caring for their loved ones when a major health situation occurs.”
The paid caregiver leave benefit is just one of the many ways Colonial Life helps its diverse workforce balance their work and personal lives, across all stages of life.
LaRhonda Gibson, a newly wed and billing coordinator with Colonial Life, assists her aging parents who live 40 minutes away while working full-time.
“Every week, I help them manage their doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, and prescriptions,” Gibson said. “Caregivers are often underrepresented in the workplace, but I feel like this benefit was made for me to make my life a little easier when I need it.”
Colonial Life provides eligible employees these work-life balance resources:
- Competitive time off and flexible working policy.
- Employee assistance program with access to counselors and support services for eldercare, childcare and more.
- Three days of paid bereavement leave per year for employees who lose a loved one, including a miscarriage
- Six weeks of paid parental leave for moms and dads after birth, adoption, or foster placement.
- New fertility support benefit for covered employees, spouses and partners.
- One-time $25,000 adoption assistance benefit for full-time employees.
- Student debt relief program to help pay down student debt.
A Unum survey among more than 400 employers in June 2020 found 44% of companies plan to expand paid leave benefits in 2021.
# # #