Benefits news you may have missed: Sept. 14-18

These are the two health issues employers should target now: COVID-19 is wreaking all kinds of havoc on the workplace and on healthcare, including one effect likely to have long-term repercussions: employees missing out on vital preventive care measures. Although there are a lot of important preventive services, there are two healthcare measures that employers should focus on getting their employees to take advantage of right now: mental health help and colorectal cancer screenings. Read more here.

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Workers fear getting fired for discussing COVID-19 stress: Not only are workers reporting significantly worse mental health due to the pandemic, but a growing number of employees are also worried they will be fired if they mention their growing stress. The startling information comes from Paychex, which finds that 30% of employee respondents feared that discussing their mental health could lead to being fired or furloughed and that 29% thought discussing their issues could cost them a promotion. Read more here.

Why coronavirus is driving the value of employee benefits: Most employees think the pandemic is making benefits more important than ever. New research from Prudential finds that workers report a significant increase in the value they place on the benefits offered by their employers, including a double-digit increase in how likely they are to remain at a job based on non-health benefits such as retirement savings, disability insurance, life insurance and other tools to help alleviate financial stress. Read more here.

COVID-19 is growing the number of caregivers: COVID-19 is accelerating the caregiving crisis by thrusting more Americans into caregiving roles, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. More than half of employees who say they’re now caregivers didn’t identify themselves as such before the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what that means for HR leaders. Read more here.

Here’s how many working parents have quit due to the pandemic: Working parents are among those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, struggling to juggle childcare and work responsibilities. Now, new data finds just what kind of toll the situation is taking on employees and their employers. Nearly half of working parents have had to quit or reduce hours because of the pandemic, according to FlexJobs’ survey of than 2,500 parents with children 18 and younger living at home. Forty percent have had to change their employment situation by either voluntarily reducing their hours (25%) or quitting entirely (15%). An additional 5% said their partner has either had to reduce their hours or quit their jobs. Read more here.

5 ways this company is doing employee experience right: Blackbaud has focused on wellbeing, communication and innovative virtual programming to keep employees informed and connected. Read more here.

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An overwhelming number of employers say remote work will continue post-pandemic: Nearly all employers say work from home will continue after the pandemic, and 59% say flex scheduling will remain an option as well, according to Gallagher. The significant finding is the latest evidence that remote work is working well for most organizations and that most will continue to embrace the option post-pandemic. 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.