Work/Life Program Prevalence for Salaried Employees
Many Canadian organizations are offering programs to help employees better balance workplace and personal demands on their time, according to a survey conducted by Hewitt Associates, a global human resources consulting and outsourcing company.
At the majority of employers surveyed, flexible work hours, telecommuting, extra paid time off for personal reasons, education leave, and job sharing are the norm for some or all of their salaried full-time employees. Some organizations also offer a compressed work week, sabbaticals and paid time off for volunteer work.
Hewitt survey findings demonstrate that certain work/life quality programs are quite common in the workplace:
- 86% of organizations offer flexible work hours for all or a portion of their employee population, although 68 per cent require employees to be on the job for certain core hours of the day;
- 77% permit all or some employees to telecommute regularly. Ninety per cent of those that do so negotiate the terms with individual employees based on an approved business case;
- Seventy-four per cent provide extra paid time off for personal reasons in addition to regular vacation time;
- 65% allow for time off for education leave. Twenty-two per cent of organizations that do so provide one to five days off per year, while the majority (56 per cent) make decisions on a case-by-case basis;
- Just over half of employers (54%) enable some or all employees to job share;
- Forty-three per cent of organizations authorize a compressed work week, with only 18 per cent doing so on the basis of the seasonality of the company’s work;
- Thirty-six per cent offer sabbatical leave. Of those, 54 per cent provide six to 24 months off, while a further 31 per cent assess situations individually. Very few employers (four per cent) pay employees during a sabbatical, but of those that do, two-thirds allow them to bank a portion of their salary in advance of the leave;
- Thirty-two per cent of employers support volunteerism by providing employees with extra paid time off. Fifty-six per cent of those that do so, allow one to five days per year; 32 per cent have either no set policy, sponsor specific activities, or decide on a case-by-case basis.