What once was reserved for new parents is now extending to grandparents. More workplaces are introducing a new paid leave policy for older workers—grandternity leave.
Grandternity leave enables employees to take paid leave to handle medical emergencies, spend time with their families, and take time away from work as needed. As the name suggests, one of the most popular use cases for grandternity leave is employees taking time off when they become grandparents to help care for their grandchildren.
The surge of older workers
One of the drivers of this trend (and other benefits aimed at mid- and late-career employees) is the increasing number of older employees in the workforce. Employees over 50 make up more than one-third of the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the labor force in the United States aged 75 and older is predicted to surge by 96.5% by 2030.
Financial factors such as inflation have put workers behind on their retirement contributions and, in some cases, cashing them out altogether to make ends meet. Without retirement savings, workers are forced to work longer and retire later than originally intended. But financial hardships aren’t the only factor driving a higher number of older workers; some just want to remain active and find a way to fill their time.
Expanding benefits for older workers
In a tight labor market with more than 10 million open jobs, employers still struggle to attract and retain experienced employees. These employees fall under the Baby Boomer generation (though some of the elder Gen Xers are in that 50+ age group) and are characterized by their work ethic and company loyalty. Typically, this generation is attracted to more “traditional” benefits such as health insurance and 401(k) matching.
With more older workers than ever, employers are seeking new, nontraditional benefits for these employees to prevent them from retiring or taking another job. Because when they do, the company loses some of its most experienced and loyal talent. Grandternity leave is just one example of personalized benefits geared toward older workers; some companies have even started to offer menopause leave as a way to retain workers.
Other countries are already starting to offer their own form of grandternity leave. For example, workers over 62 in Denmark can take “senior days” or one paid day off each month.
Only a few employers have implemented such a policy. So far, Cisco, Mercer, HireVue, and Saga are a handful of companies offering it. These policies can range from a few days offer to a couple of weeks.
For example, Saga has rolled out a grandternity policy of five days of paid grandternity leave to its 2,500 employees. So far, only 32 have taken it. Comparatively, of the 30% benefits-eligible employees 50 and older at Cisco, nearly 800 have used its grandternity leave benefit in the past two and a half years.
Moments that matter
Flexible benefits like grandternity leave can help employees retain invaluable, experienced talent. Employers can continue to attract diverse talent in an increasingly competitive labor market by offering a benefit tailored to one workforce cohort. And most of all, offering benefits like grandternity leave demonstrates that you care for your workers by giving them a way to be there for the moments that matter.
Learn more about how PTO Exchange offers flexible benefits to increasingly diverse workforces.
Published on Aug 23, 2023 by Rob Whalen