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April 18, 2007
Poll: Absences Among Caregivers on the Rise

Days off for employees who care for both children and elders rose by almost 22 percent from 2006 to 2007, according to a poll by ComPsych Corporation, a provider of employee assistance programs.

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The survey found that employees who care for both children and elders report an average of 20 days off per year to deal with personal and caretaking issues, up from 16.4 days off in 2006.

"The practice of combining vacation, personal, and sick days into a paid time off bank may help employees feel more at ease about taking time off for caregiving responsibilities," says Richard A. Chaifetz, chairman and CEO of ComPsych.

Respondents said they spend an average of almost 47 hours per week on care. The employees said they spend about 32.5 hours per week on child care alone, up from 29 hours in 2006.

Chaifetz says absence management policies can help both the employee and employer.

"Smart absence management policies can benefit both employees and employers, and can reduce the amount of unscheduled absences."

The firm polled employees at 1,000 of its client companies.

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