A divorce is never an easy time. Even when the parties agree to divorce, and it is uncontested, it is still an emotional experience. There is a lot going on, like court dates, dividing property, and dealing with child custody and other legal matters. It is a stressful situation.
A divorce primarily affects one’s personal life, but if you are employed, it is not uncommon for the end of a marriage to affect your work life as well. You may be trying to hide your divorce from your boss, and if you are a remote worker who is rarely in the office, you may be able to do so successfully. However, if you are an onsite worker, your manager is bound to catch wind that you are going through a divorce.
It depends on your work environment and the manager’s work style and personality, but the good news is that many companies are being flexible with divorcing employees. They are installing various divorce benefits and programs to help employees navigate the divorce process and transition to single life with ease.
Employees are seeking work-life balance, and employers are stepping up to help. After all, hiring new employees is a costly and time-consuming process, so it is easier to hold onto the employees you have – especially if they are high performers – and add benefits to support them.
There is no doubt that a worker’s mental health can be impacted as they go through a divorce. There are a lot of details to hammer out, especially in terms of finances and child custody if there are kids involved. It is labor intensive, and for those who have never been through a divorce before, it is a real shock.
A divorce can affect someone physically and mentally. Those going through a divorce may have trouble focusing and concentrating. They may forget to do certain tasks. They may feel stressed out and overwhelmed. On top of this, many employees have to take time off work to attend lawyer meetings or go to court. These situations can affect not only the divorcing employee but also co-workers, customers, teams, and managers,
Employers are becoming more and more aware of the difficulties that a divorce can bring to a worker. That is why they are offering a wide range of benefits to help. Flexible working arrangements are a common benefit, with companies allowing remote work, flexible scheduling, and paid time off so that employees can tend to personal matters. Many are also providing emotional and mental health support through various third-party companies. While divorce benefits are becoming more commonplace, employees should not expect them. Employees who are going through a divorce should talk to their human resources department about available benefits.
What Employers are Doing
Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the psychological impacts of divorce. With employees feeling pervasive stress, along with higher post-pandemic divorce rates, companies feel more inclined to have support measures in place.
Of course, divorce benefits vary by employer. In September 2022, publishing company Hearst rolled out a divorce benefits program to its 12,000 employees. Through a partnership with SupportPay, employees are offered assistance with child support payment and management. Other benefits include free therapy sessions and legal assistance.
Many companies in general are promoting more family-friendly policies for employees who are divorcing. Divorce is often considered a life event in HR policies, so many companies are offering support in this regard. Some benefits include flexible work schedules, access to counseling, and support services for employees.
Integrating these benefits is just good business. It is always good to be able to hang onto top employees, and when these workers are feeling the stress of divorce, it is best to have support measures in place. These benefits can help employees feel supported. Job satisfaction increases as workers feel more loyal to companies that offer such benefits. These benefits allow workers to keep their jobs while going through one of the most difficult experiences of their lives.
Having these benefits in place makes financial sense as well. They do not cost that much and do not get used often. Adding them is an easy process that shows employers care about workers. Employees no longer feel like a number. They are seen as valuable resources. Plus, a supportive workplace will allow for better employee functioning post-divorce.
Employers may be hesitant to put divorce benefits into play due to concerns such as abuse. How much flexibility and time off does a divorcing employee get? Will co-workers who are not going through a divorce feel resentful of the benefits?
Another issue is that employees may expect these benefits. Divorce benefits, while helpful, are not a requirement.
Plus, it may be unclear who qualifies for these benefits. Are they for couples who are legally married? What about those who are cohabitating? Do married or single employees get any of the same benefits for life events?
Seek Legal Help
In the past, people tried to keep their personal and work lives separate. However, divorce is one of those personal events that spill over into the workplace. Employers can support workers by offering benefits and programs to help them with the transition.
Having a good lawyer on your side can also be helpful. See how Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can help you navigate divorce and deal with this difficult time without too much disruption. Schedule a consultation with our office today by filling out the online form or calling (954) 346-6464.