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‘Nobody’s speaking about it’: Divorced staff want help, too

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“About half of marriages finish in divorce” is a standard stat that’s circulated within the U.S. Per probably the most up-to-date CDC knowledge, that statistic nonetheless holds. Furthermore, a 2022 examine by Good Housekeeping and SupportPay means that about 70% of the workforce is touched by divorce at any given time.

Whereas the prevalence of divorce stays, nevertheless, so does stigma.

Sheri Atwood, founder and CEO of SupportPay, a monetary administration system, recalled that her male coworkers taunted her about her standing as a single mother all through her divorce.

“I used to be a vice chairman at a tech firm and I used to be always requested by my male counterparts if I might nonetheless do the job,” Atwood advised HR Dive.

Together with harassment based mostly on relationship standing, employers and HR professionals also needs to be vigilant concerning divorce’s impact on employee psychological well being — and subsequently, productiveness. 

Sixty-seven % of divorced folks expertise well being declines and strains on funds, knowledge from the Good Housekeeping examine suggests. Much more wrestle with absenteeism from work and misplaced productiveness for multiple 12 months.

Sheri Atwood, Founder and CEO of SupportPay


Atwood referred to as divorce “the most important disruption and distraction, and discount in productiveness.” Catalyzed by her personal experiences, she based SupportPay to ease the method of monitoring funds and scheduling associated to little one custody preparations. Atwood advised HR Dive that her purpose had been an amicable decoupling course of. However she nonetheless was affected by telephone calls from her ex throughout work conferences and pangs of concern about their shared little one.

On prime of that, the day-to-day operations of being a divorced working mum or dad can put on down probably the most diligent worker — and result in burnout. 

“With out one thing like SupportPay, you are utilizing a spreadsheet and also you’re texting photos of receipts as a result of [your ex] doesn’t imagine it really prices that a lot. You are reminding them, ‘Hey, you owe me this.’ You verify your checking account to see if they really deposited that cash and then you definately’re attempting to replace the spreadsheet by there,” Atwood mentioned. 

She illustrated how a last-minute shift in a co-parent’s schedule can derail a person’s day. “It is arduous sufficient to do it in a single family,” she continued. “However now take into consideration doing it throughout households.”

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From a compensation and advantages perspective, Atwood defined that SupportPay supplies employers the instruments to unfold consciousness within the office – from inner communication greatest practices, to exterior statements, to webinars for customers, to one-on-one help calls. 

“We additionally guarantee that we do not share any confidential data with the employer; we even let [employees] register with their private e mail deal with,” Atwood mentioned. All that SupportPay reviews again to purchasers is the variety of staff utilizing the platform.

A key method was to get rid of administrative burden on HR managers.

The suggestions appears to be tinged with a way of surprise. Each one who has spoken to Atwood concerning the know-how says, “I by no means thought of it,” Atwood mentioned. For instance, a peer not too long ago advised her that that they had simply run a seminar on working dad and mom – and that addressing single or divorced working dad and mom had not crossed their thoughts.

Atwood nods to the way in which that worker help is more and more expansive within the compensation enviornment.

“Employers at the moment are doing a tremendous job of offering advantages and sources; every thing from funeral planning, bereavement depart, time to undertake a toddler, fertility advantages, and even sources about being dad and mom,” Atwood mentioned. 

“However in relation to divorce, nobody’s speaking about it,” she mentioned.

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