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Even before the pandemic, there was a shortage of quality child- and elder-care resources in the U.S. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the challenges of balancing work and home life. More concerning, studies show that certain segments of the population, including women, Latinx/Hispanic, Asian and Black caregivers, are disproportionately impacted.
To ensure a productive and engaged workforce, employers need to find solutions to address this growing need. Many of Ayco’s corporate partners have begun implementing a number of benefits to help employees struggling with caregiving issues.
Close to 45% of Ayco’s corporate partners now offer assistance in finding reliable and trustworthy care and/or access to subsidized back-up or emergency care.
When regular care is unavailable for an employee’s loved one, these back-up programs provide care assistance through a database of fully-vetted caregivers. Typically, they offer employees a fixed number of days annually (10–15 days on average). To meet diverse needs, it’s important the care can be provided in-home or at a care center.
Common providers used by Ayco’s corporate partners include Bright Horizons, Wellthy, Care.com and UrbanSitter.
Offering employees the opportunity to set their own schedule or take additional paid leave provides the flexibility to work around care needs—without fear of financial consequences. As the COVID-19 pandemic put more strain on employees caring for elderly family and children, many of Ayco’s corporate partners expanded paid leave benefits in 2020 and 2021. These companies are now looking to make the expansions permanent.
Some companies are considering unlimited PTO, which can offer a competitive recruiting and retention tool. It can also ease administration and save the company money, since there’s no need to account for accrued time and pay employees for unused days when they leave the company.
Family planning benefits have grown in popularity as employers aim to support the unique needs of their workforces and attract and retain top talent.
Over 40% of Ayco’s corporate partners currently offer some reimbursement for costs associated with the adoption or surrogacy process.
Although the most common reimbursement benefits are $5,000 or $10,000 per adoption and $10,000 or $15,000 per child for surrogacy, we have seen these maximums increase in recent years. While these benefits are valuable, an average adoption can cost over $30,000 and a surrogacy can cost in excess of $70,000.
Many of Ayco’s corporate partners are expanding their benefits by increasing what’s covered under existing health plans and adding dedicated fertility benefits. Vendors such as Progyny, Ovia Health, WINFertility and FertilityIQ provide fertility benefit solutions, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg freezing, pre-implantation genetic screening and personalized support when employees are looking to grow their families.
In recent years, employers have increasingly expanded parental leave benefits to account for diverse parenting situations. Beyond standard maternity leave, many employers are now offering leave for fathers, domestic partners, foster parents and individuals acting in lieu of a parent. Employers are also increasingly upping the amount of leave permitted for adoptions and surrogate births.
Although less common, we’ve also seen companies adding benefits to assist new and expecting parents with a variety of items, including pre-natal care, parenting classes, transportation of breast milk while on business travel and support for families with special needs children.
Offering a comprehensive financial wellness benefit reflects your company’s culture and shows your employees you value them. Interested in empowering your employees to take control of their financial lives? Learn more about how Ayco can help.
Updated for tax year 2020