Employers who have access to Aon’s flexible benefits platform will now be able to access a new services through companiions, which offers in-person childcare and eldercare assistance, often available at short notice.
This partnership, which will also be available to Aon’s own staff, is designed to address the challenges faced by employees who struggle to balance their work commitments with caregiving responsibilities. According to statistics from Carers UK, 7.7 million workers in the UK are currently juggling paid employment with unpaid caregiving duties. Without sufficient support, this can result in increased absenteeism and, in some cases, cause individuals to exit the workforce altogether, leading to a ‘talent drain’ in some sectors and industries.
Aon highlights the substantial costs incurred by UK businesses due to attrition and absenteeism, saying it costs around £18 billion a year. Furthermore, in 2022, a significant number of women, totaling 54,000, left the UK workforce due to caregiving responsibilities, emphasising the urgency of addressing this issue.
Joe Broadest, principal consultant at Aon, underscores the evolving nature of work since the pandemic, especially for home-based employees. He says: “Many home workers’ daily routines now involve caring responsibilities, which can make it challenging for them to return to the office. The new service, companiions, assists employees by offering tailored family-friendly care options, which has already proven successful, particularly in high-pressure sectors like legal and financial services, where employees may need to be back in the office on short notice or during unsociable hours.”
Broadest also highlights the positive impact of companiions on employees, emphasising its role in managing the caregiving process and promoting a healthier work-life balance.
Lisa Robinson, founder and CEO of companiions, gave further details on the service provided. “Companiions offers employees access to in-person, on-demand childcare, everyday assistance, and eldercare, all tailored to the circumstances and situations of individual employees. In doing so, organisations can create a supportive and healthy work environment, resulting in reduced attrition rates, fewer sick days, and enhanced diversity and inclusion. This enables employees to thrive irrespective of their caregiving responsibilities.”
Robinson adds: “We firmly believe that a successful business begins with a thriving workforce. Work-life balance is a fundamental aspect of employee well-being. Our platform represents a game-changer for both employees and employers, delivering personalised support and measurable results for businesses.”