Why “The Sandwich Generation” Turns to Contracting

The buzz phrase “work-life balance” often conjures up images of busy parents trying to juggle work with childcare responsibilities. But workers who are also taking care of elderly relatives in addition to their own children take that balancing act to a whole other level.

Of the nearly 40 million Americans caring for elderly individuals, 22% also care for children under the age of 18, making them part of what is known as “The Sandwich Generation,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some employers try to help with programs such as the “back-up elder care” program. However, those programs are rare.

“The Sandwich Generation” and flexibility

In these situations, contract staffing is often the answer. Contracting provides flexibility to “The Sandwich Generation” (and other generations) in the following three ways:

#1—Providing more versatile schedules

Because contract assignments are often project-based, clients may allow workers to stray from the typical schedule.

#2—Allowing work from home

A contractor may be able to do some or all of their work remotely. This is critical for workers with elderly relatives who need constant supervision or who live far away.

#3—Allowing extended breaks

Elder care issues sometimes require more than a little time off. The worker may need to arrange in-home care or a nursing home. They may need to relocate the relative from across the country. Or they may simply want to spend additional quality time with their loved ones with a terminal illness.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may help some workers in these circumstances, but the law does not apply to all employers. Contracting allows them to take breaks between assignments to care for their loved one.

No one should have to choose between their job and doing what they think is best for their family. As a recruiter, you can make sure they don’t have to by providing them with a flexible contract assignment.

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