Caregiving benefits moving to forefront

Employees stretched thin by providing care to relatives — whether ill or elderly — could be getting some help from employers going forward.

A Society for Human Resource Management report says that more than 75 percent of employers believe that caregiving benefits will become more important to their companies over the next five years.

Why? Increased productivity, decreased absenteeism and reduced health care costs, in that order, are the reasons more employers are considering investing in caregiving benefits, programs and services.

Benefits managers at 129 employers throughout the U.S. were polled by the Northeast Business Group on Health in collaboration with AARP for the report Caregiving and the Workplace: Employer Benchmarking Survey, which was released last month.