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Employers lean into family support benefits

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Employers are increasingly offering family support benefits as talent attraction and retention tools, a June 12 report from the Society for Human Resource Management indicated.

“The number of employers offering various family support and leave benefits has increased significantly,” the organization said. “The need for heightened family support during the pandemic seems to have evolved into long-term parental benefits.”

Employers are more likely to offer paid leave to care for immediate family members than in previous years, according to SHRM’s survey, as well as paid adoption leave. The organization also noted that more employers are providing lactation breaks and space, but said the uptick may be due to new federal mandates.

Many other benefits — pet insurance, travel for medical care and more — saw increased interest from employers, but some declined year over year. The prevalence of flexible spending accounts decreased for the second year in a row, for example, and home office stipends are also falling, SHRM said.

The shifts indicate what employers believe will boost talent attraction and retention, SHRM said. “In today’s job market, employer-sponsored benefits act as a key recruitment tool, but they’re also pivotal to the employee experience, and thus to retention, satisfaction and engagement,” said Alex Alonso, chief knowledge officer at SHRM, in a statement. “Employers are listening to their employees about their own wants and needs, but also the needs of their families, as shown by the increase in family support benefits and the emergence of paid travel expenses for medical care.”

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