A Caring Mom with a Philanthropic Mindset
During this COVID-19 crisis, our lives have drastically changed – that includes how we are caring for our children, how we work and how we live. Alie is an administrative support at TASC. She has a beautiful three-year-old daughter named Evy. Although Evy’s daycare remains open –unlike many that closed across the nation however– Alie felt more comfortable to have her daughter home with her. There were two things that Alie had to address in order to manage this. First, it was appropriate for Alie to get approval from TASC as her employer to juggle the responsibilities of caring for an active toddler while balancing a demanding workload. Second, because the daycare was still open, Alie has a contractual obligation to pay her daycare provider and is doing so. It also occurred to Alie that there are a number of essential workers that don’t have the flexibility that she does. To that point, Alie asked her daycare provider if she could ‘pay-it-forward’ and allow her daycare spot to be utilized by an essential worker at no cost to them. TASC as the employer saw the value of keeping continuity in the productivity as well as the philanthropic mindset and the family first approach Alie demonstrated it was an obvious choice to allow Alie the opportunity to continue to work AND care for her daughter during this unique period of time. TASC applies its same pro-participant (and pro-client) mindset to the changes for its employees that it takes as a third-party administrator for 80,000 clients across the nation. TASC wants to help employers think creatively about their own benefits to meet the changing needs of their organizations. Key Ideas for Employers:
- Consider a policy and/or encourage your employees who are caring for children and still paying for daycare to make the request of the daycare to make that spot available for essential workers.
- Employers are the Plan Sponsor and Plan Administrator and have ultimate authority and ability to modify their plan configuration to accommodate the changing needs of their businesses within the construct of the regulations. To that end an employer could allow the plan to reimburse daycare related expenses for which the employee is obligated to pay even if the employee does not utilize the daycare service assuming the current plan only allows qualified expenses when the child is receiving care while the employee is working, going to school etc.