Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Companies offering extended work/life programs
An article released today by Mellon Financial reports that according to a survey released today by Mellon Financial Corporation's Human Resources & Investor Solutions (HR&IS) business, employers are responding to their employees' needs for work/life balance by increasingly providing targeted programs and policies that enable employees to more efficiently manage their personal and professional lives.
Mellon's HR&IS study, "Work/Life — A delicate balance," surveyed more than 600 organizations' policies and practices, and compared selected results to its 1996 survey. The current survey found that 81 percent of employers offer employee assistance programs, up from 70 percent in 1996, while 54 percent now provide family sick days, up from 42 percent. Domestic partner benefits also are a growing trend, with 35 percent of employers now offering the benefit, compared to only 6 percent seven years ago. In addition, the latest survey results showed 88 percent of employers offer work-related tuition reimbursement, 55 percent provide general resource and referral services, and 47 percent provide unpaid family leave beyond the required FMLA leave.
Over the past two years, about one-half of respondents increased the number of work/life programs and only 5 percent decreased the number. Other findings from Mellon's HR&IS survey include:
- 71 percent of respondents offer flex-time, up from 32 percent in 1996.
- 50 percent of respondents offer telecommuting and work-at-home arrangements, up from 9 percent in 1996.
- 86 percent use part-time employees (who work fewer than 1,000 hours per year), up from 50 percent in 1996.
Mellon's survey also measured the popularity of work/life programs with employees. The most frequently used programs included family sick days, paid family leave, on- or near-site child care centers, on-site vaccinations and credit unions.