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How workplace benefits might reflect the new reality of Covid-19

By Darla Mercado, CFP® Article from FA Playbook, CNBC

KEY POINTS

  • Expect a renewed emphasis on telehealth, particularly mental health, as employees continue to social distance and work remotely.
  • Just over 1 in 5 employers are considering offering company subsidies toward back-up child care, according to a survey from Willis Towers Watson.
  • More than a quarter of employees say the pandemic has encouraged them to spend more time selecting their health benefits, according to data from Aflac.

This fall, when employees sign up for next year’s workplace benefits, they should take a close look at the offerings. Odds are they’ll be changing in 2021.

The coronavirus pandemic was hard on employers and workers, forcing them to adapt on the fly amid social distancing and efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Suddenly, employees found themselves working extended hours from their kitchen tables while caring for their children, often at the same time.

Workers are stressed out. Their bosses know it. That means their workplace benefits could reflect that new post-pandemic reality.

“It’s an opportunity for employers to re-look at what they’ve been providing,” said Kristen Appleman, senior vice president at payroll provider ADP.

“How do you position it?” she asked. “Can you increase it to provide for mental health or support services, including child care and dealing with adult family members?”

Here are three major themes employees can expect to see during the 2021 benefits enrollment season.

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