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Keeping up With the Modern Family: Comprehensive Benefits for Families of Today

Family dynamics continue to evolve as households stray from the long-established societal norms of years past—embracing more open-minded, less traditional lifestyles that disrupt the ideals of the “traditional family,” especially when it comes to “one-size-fits-all” family benefits.

In recent reports, researchers have linked the change in most household structures to the increase of single-parent families, maternal breadwinners, cohabitating relationships and same-sex marriages and parenting.

The reports revealed the following:

  • Single-parent families

    There are over 13.7 million single parents in the U.S., with 85 percent of single fathers and 76 percent of single mothers employed full-time.

  • Breadwinning mothers

    40 percent of mothers in households with children under the age of 18 are either the sole or primary source of income for their family—a massive jump from the 11 percent first recorded in 1960.

  • Cohabiting relationships

    As marriage rates hit historic lows, cohabiting relationships reach a new high—nearing 18 million, with 35 percent identifying as cohabiting parents raising children under the age of 18.

  • Increased same-sex marriage and parenting

    61 percent of same-sex, cohabiting couples in the U.S. are now married, up from 38 percent before the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, which includes more than 125,000 same-sex couple households raising nearly 220,000 children under age 18.

The increase has relevance for business leaders as more employees venture out into the workforce seeking jobs where their benefits will adequately support their specific family dynamic.

One company with their finger on the pulse of family-related benefits, is Estée Lauder, the world-renown makeup and skin care manufacturer, recently making headlines with its “family first” benefits initiative. The company announced in mid-April their newly enhanced policies and benefits geared toward supporting their employee base and respective families.

In the press release, Estée Lauder publicized that the enhanced benefits, programs and policies would include the following three offerings:

  • Paid Parental Leave and Back-to-Work Flexibility Policies

    Eligible employees, irrespective of gender and including parents adopting or fostering children, will be able to take 20 weeks of Paid Parental Leave at full pay and six weeks of back-to-work flexibility to allow all working parents to bond with their new child(ren) and transition back to work.

  • Adoption Assistance Program

    Eligible employees can seek reimbursement up to $10,000 for eligible expenses related to the legal adoption of a child under the age of 18, or older if it is a special needs adoption.

  • In-Home Back-Up Child, Adult and Elder Care

    Back-up care will now include in-home care for children or adults/elders (in addition to the currently offered back-up childcare at centers). An Infant Transition Program is also available, offering more days of care to parents who are transitioning back to work after the birth or placement of a child.

Reexamining your current benefits and taking into consideration the driving forces behind new-age family structures will be key to developing inclusive benefits packages that meet the standard familial needs of your diverse employee demographic at any stage of their lives.

If you are interested in establishing a similar benefits package or have questions about how your company can retain quality talent with comprehensive benefits, your OneDigital consultant can help.


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