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What do you do when you have to choose between taking care of a loved one and making a living? This is the situation many workers face when they try to balance a career with caring for an elderly parent or other relative.

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, nearly 40 million Americans are caring for an elderly individual, spending more than three hours a day providing that care. Twenty-two percent of those eldercare providers are also providing care for children under the age of 18, making them part of what is often referred to as the “Sandwich Generation.”

While some companies provide work-life balance programs and benefits such as “back-up elder care,” as described in a recent Human Executive Online article, just as many make little or no accommodations for these types of family issues.

What these workers need is a level of flexibility that is often just not possible in traditional employment arrangements. As a recruiter, you can throw them a lifeline by providing access to that kind of flexibility through contract assignments, which allow workers:

  1. More versatility in their schedules. Many contract assignments are project-based, so clients may not require a strict 9 to 5 schedule.
  2. Potential to work from home. Contract assignments may allow the contractor to work remotely or split their time between home and the office. This is great for workers with loved ones who need constant supervision or who live in remote areas.
  3. Ability to take time off. Sometimes it’s not about being able to supervise an elderly parent. Maybe the worker needs time to arrange in-home medical care or to find a nursing home. Or maybe the parent lives miles away and needs to be moved closer to the worker. While some employees may be able to take leave through the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the law does not apply to all employers. Therefore, not all employees can take unpaid breaks from work. But when they work on contract, they can take breaks between assignments to attend to their family’s needs.

This is just another way that contract staffing provides solutions to help mitigate complicated employment issues for both clients and candidates. No one should have to choose between caring for their family and their job. By offering contracting as an option, you can make sure they don’t have to.

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