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


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“About half of marriages finish in divorce” is a typical stat that’s circulated within the U.S. Per essentially the most up-to-date CDC information, 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, nonetheless, 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 continually requested by my male counterparts if I may nonetheless do the job,” Atwood instructed HR Dive.

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

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

Sheri Atwood, Founder and CEO of SupportPay


Atwood known 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 youngster custody preparations. Atwood instructed HR Dive that her aim 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 youngster.

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

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

She illustrated how a last-minute shift in a co-parent’s schedule can derail a person’s day. “It is exhausting 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 finest practices, to exterior statements, to webinars for customers, to one-on-one assist calls. 

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

A key strategy 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 in regards to the know-how says, “I by no means considered it,” Atwood stated. For instance, a peer not too long ago instructed her that they’d 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 best way that worker assist is more and more expansive within the compensation area.

“Employers right this moment are doing an incredible job of offering advantages and sources; every little thing from funeral planning, bereavement go away, time to undertake a baby, fertility advantages, and even sources about being dad and mom,” Atwood stated. 

“However on the subject of divorce, nobody’s speaking about it,” she stated.




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