What Would It Take For Companies To Talk About Care?

With major parts of the economy closed on Monday in observance of President’s Day, many workers enjoyed a long weekend. Companies gave them the day off, and those that couldn’t – like hospital systems – paid higher wages for requiring workers to give up their long weekend. We went to the beach!

But it got me thinking: In the responses to my recent post on Care Days, very few companies said they had such programs as something separate from Sick Days, Bereavement Days, Personal Days and most certainly Vacation Days. Why hadn’t more companies weighed in with their care programs?

Employees, on the other hand, wrote about what such a benefit would mean to them. It was almost universally positive, except for the few people who said Care Days were the same as Personal Days. (By that logic, why not just call President’s Day a Monday Federal Holiday? Same with July 4 or the first weekend in September. Naming matters.)

One response, from Allison Task, brought tears to my eyes. She remembered being sick as a girl and her mother, a school principal, calling work to say she was the one who was sick, so she could stay home with her. “It hurt my heart, first time I heard her lie,” she wrote. “I understand (now) why she did, but I believe we can do better for parents (and their observant children).” Care Days take care of that.

This is such an obviously positive benefit that the quiet corporate response surprised me. One person fondly remembered working for Bank of Hawaii a decade ago, which had Care Days then. Another said AT&T AT&T had Care Days but I didn’t hear more when I followed up.

Many family-owned and entrepreneurial businesses had their version of Care Days and rightly promoted them. Thank you LivePerson Audacia, ACR Facilities & Interiors Limited, & Agile Six

And some businesses certainly do the right thing – quietly. As that Care Days post was trending, I did a podcast with the former HR director for PURE Insurance. He was a Lead Dad to his wife who worked in financial services and then became a solo Lead Dad when she died of breast cancer. PURE gave him all the time he needed to grieve, but long before that time, the company had also completely trusted him when he needed Care Days for his children or wife.

But where were the companies always promoting themselves as the best places to work for parents? I’d love to know they’re view on Care Days.

Equimundo (Formerly Promundo-US), a global nonprofit, shared data from the WORLD Policy Analysis Center that found there is almost no leave for general family needs or emergencies around the world, though there is some for children’s health needs. (https://lnkd.in/e6bFnByH)

Equimundo is working to add better employer care policies to its Men Care 50/50 commitment, and Care Days might make it in. That’s a start. After all, President’s Day didn’t become a Monday holiday until 1971.