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October 17, 2005
Small Employers More Likely to Offer Flexibility

Small employers are significantly more likely to offer work flexibility to all or most employees than employers of other sizes, but large employers are providing more benefits that have direct costs, according to a study by the Families and Work Institute.

The study also found that small, mid-sized and large employers have largely maintained or increased the overall work life assistance they provide to employees, with cutbacks primarily requiring employees to pay a larger share of disability, healthcare or retirement-benefit costs.

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"We are seeing a workplace in transition, shifting from models that served the needs of the 20th century to those that serve the needs of the 21st century--and most of these changes that make work 'work' for employers and employees appear to be here to stay," says Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of Families and Work Institute.

According to the study, small employers, defined as organizations with 50 to 99 employees, tend to offer their employees greater flexibility, such as flextime, returning to work gradually after childbirth or adoption, taking time off for education or training to improve skills, or phasing into retirement.

Conversely, the study also found that large companies employing more than 1,000 workers tend to offer more direct-cost benefits, including 401(k) retirement plans, on- or near-site or backup child care and Employee Assistance Programs.

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