Katelyn De Rogatis, Families and Work Institute
Kelly Sakai, Families and Work Institute
EMPLOYER STUDY FROM FAMILIES AND WORK INSTITUTE
SHOWS SIGNIFICANT CHANGES FOR
U.S. WORKERS SINCE 1998
2008 National Study of Employers follows ten years trends
related to U.S. workplace policies and benefits
Conference call with Ellen Galinsky at 2:30 pm EST, Wednesday, May 21
New York , NY, May 21, 2008 – The latest edition of a study of U.S. workplaces finds that employers with more women and more minorities in top positions, and nonprofits organizations, are more likely to offer flexible workplaces. These are just two of the significant findings to emerge from the landmark 2008 National Study of Employers (NSE), released today by Families and Work Institute ( www.familiesandwork.org).
Ellen Galinsky, president and founder of Families and Work Institute, will hold a conference call at 2:30 pm EST on Wednesday, May 21 to review key findings and address media questions. Call-in information is as follows:
Dial In Number: (888) 684-1282
Passcode: 4164690 #
First conducted in 1998, the 2008 NSE is the most comprehensive and far-reaching study of initiatives provided by U.S. employers to address the changing needs of today’s workforce. Designed by Families and Work Institute and conducted by Harris Interactive, Inc., the NSE interviewed 1,100 employers with 50 or more employees located throughout the United States and provides trend data on changes that have occurred over the past 10 years. The study addresses questions such as:
- What is the prevalence of programs, policies, and benefits that address the needs of the changing workforce, including workplace flexibility, caregiving leaves, child and elder care assistance, and health care/economic security benefits?
- Are smaller or larger employers more likely to provide these programs, policies, and benefits?
- Have these initiatives increased or decreased in the past ten years?
- Which employers provider higher levels of support to their employees?
“There has been surprising stability in many of the practices, policies and programs of U.S. employers over the past 10 years,” said Ellen Galinsky, president and founder of Families and Work Institute and lead author of the study. “The NSE confirms that in the face of economic volatility companies have generally held steady or reduced benefits that carry hard costs. Yet in certain areas – including domestic partner benefits and access to information on support services – we are seeing an expansion of benefits. We find it particularly interesting that having an employee base composed of a greater percentage of women, or the presence of women and minorities in senior positions, is correlated with a more flexible workplace.”
A sampling of changes in the workplace over the past 10 years identified by the 2008 National Study of Employers includes:
On the Rise
- Flexibility: 79% of employers now allow at least some employees to periodically change their arrival and departure time, up from 68% in 1998.
The 2008 study shows that 53% of organizations with 50 or more employees allow some employees to phase into retirement by working reduced hours over a period of time prior to full retirement and 38% allow some employees to take sabbaticals (paid or unpaid leaves of six months or more) and return to a comparable job.
- Elder care: Thirty-nine percent of employers today provide access to information about services for elderly family members compared with 23% in 1998.
- Employee Assistance Programs : 65% of employers provide EAPs today, up from 56% in 1998.
- Wellness: Sixty percent of employers provide Wellness Programs today compared to 56% in 1998.
- Maternal Benefits : More employers are providing private space for breastfeeding women in 2008 (53%) than in 1998 (37%).
- Domestic Partners: Employers are more likely to provide health insurance for unmarried partners of employees—31% in 2008, compared with 14% ten years ago.
On the Decline
- Flexibility: 47% of employers today allow at least some employees to move from full-time to part-time work and back again while remaining in the same position or level, down from 57% in 1998.
- Maternal Benefits: Far fewer employers provide full pay during the period of maternity-related disability, today at 16%, down from 27% in 1998.
- Health care Premiums: Only 4% of employers pay all of the premiums for family members today, compared with 13% in 1998.
Overall, 35% of employers report increasing employees’ premium co-pays for individual and family health care coverage in the past 12 months.
- Pension & Retirement Plans: 29% offer defined pension plans in 2008 compared with 48% in 1998. Employers are also less likely to contribute to employees’ retirement plans.
Twenty-nine percent of employers in 2008 provide defined-benefit pension plans, down from 48% in 1998.
Employers in 2008 are less likely (81%) than employers in 1998 (91%) to make contributions to employees’ retirement plans.
The report includes interesting findings related to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): 22% of employers offer more than the 12 weeks of mandated maternity leave, yet 18 to 21% of all employers surveyed appear to be out of compliance with FMLA.
The NSE is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is downloadable at www.FamiliesandWork.org.
ABOUT FAMILIES AND WORK INSTITUTE
Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan premier research organization that studies the changing workforce and workplace, the changing family and the changing community. As a preeminent think-tank, FWI is known for being ahead of the curve, identifying emerging issues, and then conducting rigorous research that often challenges common wisdom, provides insight and knowledge, and motivates and leads to action. Since the Institute was founded in 1989, its work has focused in three major areas: the workforce/workplace, youth and early childhood. For more information, visit www.familiesandwork.org