Printer Friendly


 DETROIT, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- More than two out of three AT&T employees responding to a recent company poll expect greater strain in balancing work and family over the next five years.
 That finding and others from the poll illustrate employee concern over work/family issues against the backdrop of tomorrow's National Day of the Working Parent. The event, created by the National Council of Jewish Women and supported by AT&T and other corporations, is devoted to focusing attention on the struggle many people face in juggling work responsibilities and family obligations.
 Locally, AT&T managers are planning a lunch hour seminar for employees called "The Work and Family Crunch" at the Berkshire Hotel in Southfield which features ways working parents can more effectively manage their home and work lives.
 Among other key survey findings is that more than half of the respondents said they already have made considerable sacrifices in their personal or family lives for their jobs.
 On the other hand, one-third said they have sacrificed their careers for the sake of their personal lives -- and only one in four people said that they see the amount of time spent in the office as a good measure of their commitment to the company.
 "AT&T's survey results indicate that a proper balance between job and home life is a high priority for people, a common and growing trend in corporate America today," said Charles Rodgers, president of Rodgers and Associates, the consulting arm of Boston-based Work/Family Directions.
 "These are concerns companies of all types need to address if they want to attract and retain top-notch people," he said. "Increasingly, one of the biggest influences on people's productivity is flexibility on the job to help adequately meet demands placed on them both at work and at home."
 AT&T's survey went to 3,000 employees, who responded by calling a toll-free number and keying in responses using a touch-tone telephone. Results are based on more than 600 responses.
 Four out of 10 respondents said they now have responsibility at home for a child under 14 years old, and 15 percent said they spend at least 10 hours a week assisting a relative over 59 years of age.
 The survey results were released to coincide with the first National Day of the Working Parent, which AT&T is marking with a series of events, including activities involving five executives in Allentown, Pa., Basking Ridge, N.J., Chicago, Richmond, Va., and Washington.
 Through day-care-center visits and employee forums on balancing work and family life, senior managers will experience firsthand the challenges faced by working parents. Thousands of AT&T employees around the country are expected to take part in locally organized activities as well.
 AT&T, with some 263,000 employees in the U.S., also has a number of ongoing initiatives in support of work/family issues, including its commitment of $25 million over six years to the Family Care Development Fund.
 This joint initiative of AT&T, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) seeks to improve the quality and supply of child- and elder-care services by providing funds for community-based organizations.
 In addition, AT&T provides resource and referral information and consultation to employees for child- and elder-care. Also available are a program to support employees in helping their children achieve in school, adoption assistance, and a wide variety of work arrangements, such as parental and family leaves, flexible hours and work-at-home options.
 AT&T Work and Family Program
 Since its launch in January 1990, AT&T's Work and Family Program has been recognized by business, labor and family-care advocates as a model for helping employees meet the growing challenge of balancing work and family responsibilities.
 The initiative grew from the belief that by helping employees balance their work and family responsibilities, the company would gain a more focused, more productive workforce that is better able to meet the needs of its customers. Developed in cooperation with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the initiative offers regular full- and part-time employees a comprehensive array of choices ranging from child- and elder-care support to flexible work arrangements to adoption assistance.
 Family Care Development Fund
 A highlight of the Work and Family Program is the Family Care Development Fund. Administered jointly by AT&T, the CWA and the IBEW, the fund seeks to improve the quality and supply of child- and elder- care services by providing funding to community-based family-care organizations. In its first three years, the fund committed $10 million to nearly 400 organizations in 26 states. Over the next three years, the fund will distribute another $15 million. Employees may sponsor an organization's funding request, or organizations may be invited to apply for a grant.
 Child Care Resources
 Finding appropriate care for a child is one of the many difficult challenges facing working parents. The Child Care Resource and Referral Service puts parents in touch with trained specialists who can help them locate, evaluate and manage care options for children from infants to 15 years of age. For parents with school-age children, AT&T offers SchoolSmart, a consulting service for advice on child educational issues, such as how to structure homework, dealing with poor grades, selecting a school system and similar topics.
 Child/Elder Care Reimbursement Account
 This account allows employees to set aside up to $5,000 a year in pre-tax dollars -- all exempt from federal, Social Security, and most state and local taxes -- to pay for child- or elder-care expenses. Depending on an employee's tax bracket and the amount set aside, tax savings could equal nearly $2,000.
 Child and Family Care Leaves of Absence
 For today's busy working parents, time has become a precious commodity. Using Child and Family Care Leaves of Absence, parents may take up to 12 months of unpaid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, and be guaranteed reinstatement to a full-time job of like status and pay at the end of the leave. Also, up to 12 months' unpaid leave may be taken to care for a seriously ill family member. During a leave of absence, AT&T will pay the full cost of continued health benefits. In addition, with supervisor approval, employees returning from a leave of absence may do so on a part-time basis, working a minimum of 25 hours a week for the first three months of their return.
 Adult and Elder Care
 It is estimated that one out of four working adults in America provides some form of support to a parent, older relative or relative with a disability. The Elder Care Consultation and Referral Service helps employees locate, evaluate and manage quality care for family members aged 60 or older. For employees caring for an adult relative over 21 with mental, physical, emotional or sensory disability, the Adult Disability Service provides consultation and referrals to local and national resources and helpful publications on disability issues.
 Adoption Support
 Parents of adopted children and adoptees can take advantage of several programs offered by AT&T. For example, the Adoption Resource and Referral Service provides consultation on adoption, including stepchild adoptions, and adult adoptees interested in finding their biological parents. The Adoption Reimbursement Program reimburses parents up to $2,500 to cover the expenses associated with adopting children. In addition, parents of adopted children can take advantage of the same family leave benefits as birth parents, including up to 12 months of unpaid leave to care for a newly adopted child.
 Flexible Work Schedules
 Flexibility in work schedules goes a long way toward helping parents balance their work and family responsibilities. Employees may take two- hour "time-off" periods to handle unforeseen circumstances. In addition, they also may work "flex" schedules, depending on the nature of their work, customer needs and other factors.
 Employee Assistance
 The Employee Assistance Program provides employees and family members with help for medical, behavioral and personal problems, such as emotional disorders, alcoholism, physical illness, drug abuse, marital or family problems, and other stressors.
 -0- 9/8/93
 /CONTACT: Mark Trierweiler of AT&T, 313-262-4960 or (home) 313-229-0092/

CO: AT&T; National Council of Jewish Women ST: Michigan IN: TLS SU:

SM-ML -- DE014 -- 9943 09/08/93 15:41 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 8, 1993

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters