Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Survey: U.S. Businesses Lose up to $33 Billion from Lost Productivity of Working Caregivers

According to a new study from MetLife Mature Market Institute®, the cost to U.S. business due to lost productivity of working caregivers is $17.1 billion to $33.6 billion per year. The MetLife Caregiving Costs Study: Productivity Losses to U.S. Business, produced in conjunction with the National Alliance for Caregiving, reports that the average caregiver costs an employer $2,110 per year. "For those caregivers providing the most intense levels of care, the cost per employee is $2,441, totaling $17.1 billion. The total annual cost for all caregivers is $33.6 billion."

Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, notes that “[e]mployer costs related to caregiving are often hidden ones and can be significant. To stem the losses, employers should consider implementing eldercare programs for employees with a focus on individualized care planning and flexible work arrangements. It also helps when managers and supervisors are sensitive to caregivers’ needs; that sensitivity often leads to increased worker productivity.”

Included among the costs included by the survey are replacing employees , absenteeism , partial absenteeism, workday interruptions, eldercare crisis, supervisor time, and unpaid leave. Employers large and small who would like to calculate how much caregiving costs their business in lost productivity each year, can log onto a workplace productivity calculator prepared in conjunction with the study at: www.eldercarecalculator.org.

Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute® Press Release (July 11, 2006) [Word document, also available as HTML at Business Wire]

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