Levi Strauss offers employees paid caregiver leave benefit

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Levi Strauss added a new paid family leave benefit to provide all eligible retail and corporate employees with up to eight weeks of paid time off each year to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition.

After surveying its employees Levi Strauss found that workers were in need of better paid family leave since 50% of their U.S.-based workforce are members of the “sandwich generation” with many caring for their own children as well as an older parent or family member.

“To support the well-being of our employees, we have to support their ability to care for their immediate family members, whether that is a child, spouse, parent or domestic partner, without worrying about their job or their paycheck,” says Scott White, vice president of global people operations and rewards at Levi Strauss.

Levi Strauss employees also have access to programs including paid family leave, paid parental leave, and free employee health insurance premiums. Benefits-eligible employees also are able to receive backup childcare and eldercare for $2 per hour, before the addition of the new benefit, and can continue to access this if they want it.

Caregiving is a responsibility held by 70% of working Americans, according to data from Harvard Business School. Often an isolating experience, caretakers tend not to share their burden with others, especially their employers. This stress can negatively impact the other aspects of their lives, including the ability to do their job. About 88% of adult caregivers correlate the additional responsibility of tending to a sick family member with a negative impact on their own health, and 44% experience financial strain, according to Business Group on Health data.

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“Employers are really starting to tune in to these very specific topics like mental health and caregiving,” Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, CEO of caregiver benefit company Wellthy, previously told Employee Benefit News. “Employers are seeing the impact that these things have on the productivity and well-being of their workforce.”

Some other employers that offer caregiving benefits include the law firm Neal Gerber Eisenberg, CenturyLink and Sun Life.

“Given the demographic trends we are seeing — an aging population, geographically dispersed families and the prevalence of chronic diseases — today’s workforce will continue to face the challenges of caregiving,” White says.

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