Things Heat up for Sandwich Generation

April 17, 2007 ( - American workers taking care of both children and elders - the so-called Sandwich Generation - took 22% more days off this year than last, according to a new survey.

A survey by employee assistance program provider ComPsych found that the average days off went from 16.4 in 2006 to 20 this year, according to a news release.

According to the news release, Sandwich Generation employees saw a 7.35% increase in hours spent on care from 43.5 in 2006 to 46.7 this year. Hours spent on child care jumped 12.03% from 29.1 to 32.6 while hours spent on elder care dropped 2.08% from 14.4 in 2006 to 14.1 in 2007.

“The practice of combining vacation, personal and sick days into a paid time off bank may help employees feel more at ease about taking time off for caregiving responsibilities,” said Richard A. Chaifetz, chairman and CEO of ComPsych, in the news release. “Smart absence management policies can benefit both employees and employers, and can reduce the amount of unscheduled absences, And providing work-life services that include child and elder care referrals can lessen the need for caregivers to take off work, whether the absence is scheduled or not.”

The survey was conducted from January 16 to February 22, 2007, receiving responses from employees of more than 1,000 ComPsych client companies nationwide.