How to Better Support Sandwich Generation Employees


An older couple hold their young great-grandchildren as they sit outside.

Five ways employers can help employees caring for both children and parents.

How many of your employees are part of the “sandwich generation”—those people who are caring for both aging parents and their own children?

According to Pew Research, more than half of Americans in their 40s “have a living parent age 65 or older and are either raising a child younger than 18 or have an adult child they helped financially in the past year. By comparison, 36% of those in their 50s, 27% of those in their 30s, and fewer than one-in-ten of those younger than 30 (6%) or 60 and older (7%) are in this situation.”

In a tight labor market, employers who help support those in the sandwich generation will be able to retain more employees.

Talk to your employees

Conversations with individuals will give you insights into what your sandwich generation employees need to succeed. Some caregivers may struggle with childcare, others may need to check on a loved one during the middle of the day. When you understand their challenges, you can create policies and offer resources that will truly help.

Make flexibility part of your culture

Caregivers are often stressed by schedules–their own and those of their kids and parents. By making flexibility part of your culture, caregivers can adjust their working times so they can take care of their family and do their work with less stress.

Make sure employees know about FMLA

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period to care a for a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition.

While FMLA is required in Michigan only when an employer has at least 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year, smaller employers can voluntarily implement a similar leave policy.

Identify local resources that support caregivers and their families

Those in the sandwich generation are often so busy as caregivers they don’t have time to identify resources that could help them better manage the demands of family. Do the legwork for them to identify where they can turn for things like:

  • Home health care
  • Adult day care
  • Housecleaning services
  • Delivery of meals
  • Emergency childcare
  • Respite care
  • Counseling
Provide financial education

Managing a family budget gets more complicated when an employee is caring for themselves as well as an older and younger generation. Provide financial planning and advice so employees can meet their goals for saving college and retirement, as well as manage their elderly parents’ finances.

The Consumers @Work program can help fill this need with complimentary financial wellness services and resources, including topics on budgeting, debt reduction, credit improvement, homeownership and more. 

Do you have business banking questions? Contact our knowledgeable Commercial Loan Officers online or call 800-991-2221. We’re also available to help in person at your local office.

Federally insured by NCUA

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