The 2014 National Study of Employers (NSE), which looks at changes in the workplace since 2008, found that flexibility over when and where full-time employees work is on the rise. This includes options such as working remotely occasionally (telecommuting), which saw an increase to 67 percent from 50 percent in 2008, and control over overtime, up to 45 percent from 27 percent.
On the other hand, provisions allowing extended time away from work largely saw declines, including practices such as job-sharing, down to 18 percent from 29 percent, and career breaks for personal and family responsibilities, down to 52 percent from 64 percent.
The NSE findings also revealed that business practice and governmental policy mutually influence one another. Over the years, employers have gravitated toward the 12-week minimum of family leave mandated by the Family and Medical Leave Act, provided space and time for breastfeeding mother as mandated in the Affordable Care Act, and increasingly offered health insurance benefits for unmarried couples, presaging changes in laws such as the Defense of Marriage Act.
Among other trends that emerged from the report:
- Small employers are remerging from the recession as flexible work leaders.
- More employers are complying with maternity, adoption and seriously ill caregiving leaves, although paternity leave lags behind.
- There is more attention to informing employees about their opportunities for elder care support.
- Fewer organizations are covering the full cost of maternity leaves.
- Organizations and have increased the copay they are require of employees for health insurance.
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