NYSOFA, DOL, DOH and Partners Launch Survey to Gauge Impact of Caregiving on Workers and Needs for Support

Situation Report | July 6, 2021

The state’s Office for the Aging, the Department of Labor, and Department of Health last week announced a public-private partnership to survey businesses and their employees on the impact that caregiving has on the workforce and public. The project intends to assess working caregiver intensity and connect working caregivers to supports and information.

The state is encouraging employers to ask employees to complete the survey.

This will help identify the number of employees who are caregiving, understand the daily tasks working caregivers are performing, and how those tasks impact their work and health.

Survey results will be shared with business leaders and their human resource departments, policy makers, and operators of caregiver programs. The goal is to raise awareness about working caregivers, the services available, and help them connect to these supports while measuring their caregiving experience.

A “caregiver” is defined as a family, friend, or neighbor who helps an individual with their daily living. There are an estimated 4.1 million caregivers in New York State who provide 2.68 billion hours of unpaid care. If paid for at market rate, the cost of that care would be $32 billion annually.

In the U.S. today, one in six employees spends on average more than 20 hours a week providing care for a loved one. Caregiving costs U.S. businesses an estimated $50 billion a year in lost productivity.

The initiative is accompanied by a new state publication — Caregivers in the Workplace: Finding Balance for Your Employees — which aims to identify working caregivers and link them to community services.