Benefits news you may have missed: Aug. 24-28

Burnout rates are soaring–and employees say HR isn’t helping: The vast majority of workers say they’re experiencing burnout at work, in large part due to the pandemic–and they also say they aren’t getting the help they need from their HR departments. A staggering 75% of employees say they’ve faced burnout at work, with 40% saying they’ve experienced burnout during the pandemic specifically, according to a July survey of more than 1,500 respondents from FlexJobs, fielded in partnership with Mental Health America. adding to workers’ stress is the feeling that their employer, and HR department in particular, is not helping with their concerns. Read more here.

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Thinking about reopening? 7 considerations for HR: As new COVID cases fall across the United States, many organizations are moving forward with plans for returning employees to the office. Not surprisingly, a return-to-the-workplace plan in the midst of a pandemic isn’t the easiest feat. It requires a ton of prep, safety protocols, logistical considerations and robust communication–responsibilities that often fall on the shoulders of human resources professionals. Should HR leaders bring workers back into the office? What should they consider first? What should they do? HRE spoke to a number of experts for insight. Read more here.

How many employers are suspending 401(k) matches? The vast majority of employers are still contributing to their workers’ 401(k)s, despite the economic fragility of many firms due to the coronavirus. Roughly 11% of employers suspended their company match in the second quarter, according to the latest retirement savings trend report from Fidelity Investments. Read more here.

This is the biggest benefit trend of COVID-19: At a time of collective grief, uncertainty and anxiety, there is a new spotlight on how employers treat their employees. It’s not just about salary or nice-to-have perks–it’s getting to a deeper, more meaningful level.  How do you help them cope? How do you show them you have their back? What resources can you provide? What flexibility? What recognition? What leeway? Read more here.

8 trends in employer support for the childcare crisis: The statistics surrounding the growing childcare crisis are sobering: Nearly half of working American parents have lost the childcare arrangement they had before COVID-19. As parents gear up for a new school year, what are employers doing to confront these numbers? Read more here.

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What this software company’s new childcare leave looks like: Despite having 12,000 employees across 105 cities in 38 countries, software corporation Autodesk was able to move to remote work in light of the pandemic rather easily, says Linda Ho, vice president of culture and capability. Sustaining that shift long-term, however, has taken significant forethought, supported by an employee-centric focus. Read more here.

Employers plan to reinstate 401(k) matches: Fidelity’s most recent retirement report finds that 11% of employers suspended their 401(k) company match in the second quarter due to the coronavirus. Of those employers, 32% indicated they plan to reinstate their match in the next year, and 48% plan to reinstate as soon as financially possible. Only 6% of employers indicated they currently have no plans to reinstate their match. Read more here.

Pandemic is accelerating virtual care options: The coronavirus pandemic is rapidly reshaping how employees think of employee benefits. And, according to a new employer survey, it is also prompting many employers to recognize the role of new avenues of healthcare delivery. Read more here.

4 ways this ‘traditional’ company is embracing change: Before the pandemic, only about five of California-based insurance company Kern Health System’s 500 employees worked remotely. Today, the entire employee population is working from home, and the organization is considering revising its telecommuting process for the long run. The pivot was a forced but illuminating change, says CHRO Anita Martin, who notes the organization has long been a “traditional” one, where employees worked the standard 8 a.m.-5 p.m. every day in the office. Read more 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.