Employers, and workers who must deal with taking care of elderly parents, handicapped children or other family members who need homecare, will now have a set of guidelines to help them deal with the issue in the workplace, thanks to a bill signed into law by Gov. Cuomo.
The legislation by two Bronx legislators, Senator Luis Sepúlveda and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, requires three state agencies to post guides on their websites containing best practices for retaining employees who are informal caregivers.
“Many employees at some point have to care for a disabled parent, spouse, or child, and in many cases, employers are unable to appropriately assist employees in this situation,” said Senator Sepúlveda. “What this bill attempts to do is develop and disseminate materials to employees and employers about informal caregiving, how it impacts their businesses, and how businesses can support their caregiving employees.”
Senator Sepúlveda, a member of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, noted that recent studies indicate that if the value of informal caregiving was quantified as a part of the healthcare system, it would account for well over $20 billion each year.
Under the legislation, the guidelines must be developed by the state Office for the Aging, the Department of Labor, and the Department of State, and posted on their websites, as well as being available in print for a nominal fee.
“Many of us face the reality of our parents, children, or relatives needing homecare,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz. “However this can conflict with our obligations in the workplace. This law makes information on how to deal with this common occurrence readily available for employees and employers alike. It can be difficult enough just to navigate the complexities of providing homecare while holding a job, getting information on how to do no longer needs to be difficult,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.
Senator Sepúlveda noted that “These guidelines will hopefully go a long way in benefitting employees who must juggle dealing with a homecare situation and their jobs, while employers can better understand how to still get the best out of their employees while helping them manage their situations.
“Helping employees handle the stress of taking care of a sick family member improves their productivity and their relationship with their employer,” the Senator continued. “This is a win-win situation for workers, their loved ones and employers.”