Benefits news you may have missed: April 19-23

Biden to employers: Give time off for COVID-19 vaccinations: President Biden on Wednesday urged employers to give their employees paid time off to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The president’s push is supported by recent research showing employers’ vital role in efforts to inoculate the nation. Read more here.

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Steps employers are taking to ease employee vaccinations: Eager to improve vaccination rates, U.S. employers are taking measures to educate, incentivize and make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible to their employees, according to new data by Willis Towers Watson. Read more here.

Are employers doing enough to help workers during the pandemic? During what’s widely considered the hardest and most stressful time in employees’ lives, workers say their overall wellbeing has declined and they’re looking for more help from their employer. But new research finds some employers are not living up to their employees’ expectations, with many workers saying their organization hasn’t helped them enough during the pandemic. Read more here.

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Gen X workers experiencing worrisome mental health declines: Although COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available and giving many employees hope for light at the end of the tunnel in regard to the pandemic, mental health relief isn’t widespread. According to the latest results from Total Brain’s Mental Health Index, employees in the sandwich generation–those ages 40-59 who are typically tending to children and aging parents amid a pandemic–have experienced worrisome declines in mental health over the last few months. Read more here.

7 ways TIAA expanded benefits to meet the COVID challenge: While organizations have long recognized the value of employee benefits in attracting and retaining top talent, their reliance on this vital tool to enhance the employee experience became even more solidified during the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the role that benefits can play in supporting employees in need–from childcare options to testing assistance. Both were on the table–along with a number of other benefits expansions–at financial services firm TIAA. Read more here.

Still weighing vaccine incentives? Here’s how 12 employers are encouraging shots: COVID-19 vaccination is vital to end the pandemic, but it’s not proving to be an easy task. Although vaccines are becoming more widely available, skepticism and hesitation still surround the shots, and scores of Americans say they do not plan on getting vaccinated. That’s where employers come in. In recent months, a number of employers have announced plans, incentives, education efforts and more in an effort to encourage their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Here’s a look at 12 employers’ plans surrounding the vaccines. Read more here.

How purpose and values are driving employers’ vaccine strategies: As vaccines continue to roll out around the world, many employers are playing a unique role in the process. Some are focused on educating employees about vaccine safety to reduce hesitancy, others are offering financial incentives and time off to encourage workers to get the shot and still others are weighing whether to mandate vaccines for a return to the workplace. Carol Morrison of i4cp will be speaking about what organizations need to consider as they roll out their plans during next month’s Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. Read more here.

Why financial education is good–but action is so much better: As employers expanded benefits this past year to help struggling employees manage the impacts of the pandemic, they also started looking more holistically at the needs of their workforce–shedding light on how integral financial wellness is to the overall benefits picture. Commonwealth’s Melissa Gopnik will be discussing the topic at next month’s Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. Read more here.

Learn more about the latest trends in employee benefits, and insights into what industry can expect during HRE‘s Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. Register for the free, virtual event here

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.