HRE’s number of the day: employees quitting over childcare needs

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21: Percentage of employers who say they’ve lost employees due to their children’s education needs

Nearly a quarter of 234 organizations polled by WorldatWork say they’ve had an employee quit during the COVID-19 pandemic due to their children’s education needs. The poll of human resource and total rewards professionals was conducted July 31.

What it means to HR leaders

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting significant pressure on working parents, who are left struggling to take care of their children and get their jobs done simultaneously. With many daycare centers and schools closed, many parents are left not only trying to take care of their children but also to educate them from home.

That’s a big problem for employees–but it’s also a big problem for employers. Now, WorldatWork’s survey finds that employers stand to lose talent because of those caregiving issues. Meanwhile, the poll also finds that while 44% said supporting employees with children returning to school is either a high priority or top priority issue for their organization, 23% said it is not a priority. That leaves much room for improvement.

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Related: The childcare crisis is here. What are you doing about it?

“They’ve become a full-time teacher and caregiver while also working full-time,” Julie Stich, vice president of content at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, told HRE recently. “It’s exhausting and can leave workers feeling like they’re failing on both fronts.”

Marta Turba, vice president of WorldatWork, says that especially during COVID-19, “companies are competing with families for top talent.” One thing employers can do that might help employees as well is emphasize alumni hiring or boomerang programs that welcome back talent when the time is right, she says.

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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.