Employers will need to give workers more ability to arrange their work schedule to take family concerns into account in order to deal with a shrinking workforce, says a report.

The report commissioned by Health Canada, Reducing Work-Life Conflict: What Works, What Doesn’t, notes that mass exits and retirements from the workforce will create a shortage of skilled workers which, combined with an older workforce, is expected to hinder efforts to increase economic output and productivity.

“The magnitude of the problem in Canada is reflected in estimates that suggest that within the next decade Canadian employers will be faced with a situation where every two people will be faced with a situation where for every two people who are retiring there will be less than one person to take their place,” the report states.

Specifically, it says, organizations and policy makers will need to focus on implementing employee-friendly benefits, policies and practices that can be linked to more effective recruitment and retention of employees in general and younger employees in particular.

It also recommends employers wishing to help employees cope with role overload need to increase the amount of flexibility employees feel they have over when and where they work.

“In particular, they need to give employees more ability to arrange their work schedule to take family concerns into account, and make it possible for employees to interrupt their work day to deal with personal or family matters and then return to work when the issue has been addressed,” says the report.

Other forms of flexibility also associated with an increased ability to cope with role overload include the ability to take one’s holidays when one wants, take a paid day off work to care for an elderly dependent, take a paid day off to care for a sick child, be home in time to have meals with the family, and vary one’s work hours.

To read the executive summary of the report on Health Canada’s website, click here.

To comment on this story, email craig.sebastiano@rci.rogers.com.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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