Benefits packages need to address the challenges can be monumental for working parents of a child with disabilities. Many employers are providing their employees with assistance to support families’ needs. However, each employer determines what services they can and cannot offer. Larger companies often have the resources small businesses do not have for these services. Yet, the personal aspect of working for a smaller company may mean that the employee can discuss their needs directly with the owner to facilitate a positive outcome.
Employers today understand that to acquire and retain quality employees, they need to differentiate themselves from other companies by adding programs such as Vitalxchange to their benefits packages. Employers should recognize the increased stress and financial hardship of their employees who care for a child with a disability. They should provide helpful resources can significantly impact the lives of those who work for them.
So, how can employers help their employees whose children have disabilities?
Including EAPs in Benefits Package
Companies that provide EAPs in their benefits packages make it possible for the employee to do their job. Employee can utilize professionals in the field find necessary solutions. Instead of the employee spending hours on the phone and internet, the program handles their tasks. For example, providing access to digital platforms like Vitalxchange or referrals for childcare, help with homework, tutoring, emotional support, disability resources, and more.
Many companies today support families by offering employees a chance to set their own hours. Flexible working hours are highly beneficial for a parent who must deal with doctor visits and therapeutic appointments.
Increase in PTO as a Part of Benefit Package
Some companies increase funds for family, medical, maternal, and paternal leave, while others address the situation on a case-by-case basis. Another option to support families is allowing employees to “donate” a day of their paid time off to help a co-worker.
Flexible Spending Accounts
FSAs allow employees to place pretax dollars in accounts that help cover childcare and healthcare expenses. Using these accounts for family support services such as those provided by Vitalxchange can be beneficial for a parent caring for a child with a disability.
On-Site/Subsidized Care as a part of Benefit Package
Some companies include in their employee benefits packages in-house aid (wellness centers to daycare facilities); some even offer on-site care for children with disabilities. This allows parents to work with the knowledge that their children are well cared for and nearby. Many companies today offer family support subsidies for childcare, whether on-site or off-site, at childcare centers.
The more resources an employer can provide to parents of children with disabilities, the more productive that employee can be.