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Health & Fitness

Employers must offer family-friendly perks

Employers should create opportunities for their
Employers should create opportunities for their staff to bond with families. PHOTO | FOTOSEARCH 

The festive season is over and the New Year is off to a start. Depending on your family tradition, the Christmas and New Year period provided an opportunity to bond with family and relatives or friends. For the loners, a bit of quiet self-time was made available.

While many spent time making merry, a few with means or family traditions took a trip together. Among those able to, such annual trips allow families to bond, especially given the scattering of members across different areas in today’s global workplaces.

For parents, in particular, memories of a trip are indelible on young minds and for those taking care of retired parents, the highlight of a new place creates escape from their solitude.

The average employed family worker spends more time at the workplace than with the family. Shifting family structures, relationship strain occasioned by heavy commutes as well as conflicting schooling calendars for children create few instances where all family members are together and free.

As employers and workplaces re-invent themselves in becoming more family conscious, some are offering incentives like generous maternity or paternity leaves and breastfeeding amenities, they also should start thinking about how to support their staff enjoy some family time beyond allocating leave days.

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With better planning this is possible. Progressive employee welfare schemes should also chip in with member education as well as financial plans on monthly deductions, geared towards investing in such plans. Judging from the hire purchase schemes, this is a feasible pursuit.

In 2020, if you spend time and money in entertainment places, consider setting aside some funds to start saving plans for a family outdoor trips.

Few concerns exist, especially for family travel, a lack of decent and affordable accommodation, as well as cheap logistics, means being some of them.

However, work, family or religious affiliation travel means and accommodation, as well as Airbnb or reciprocal family hosting, are some of the ways to cut costs.

If you drive around the country, you may have noticed a growth of church-sponsored guest houses and resorts. These facilities seek to provide an ambience and environment fit for family hangouts devoid of lewd behaviours associated with some accommodation establishments like loud noise or immoral activities.

An enquiry reveals that it is a deliberate church strategy towards the fracturing family and marriages. The idea is to provide decent venues for members as a way to strengthen the bonds. Healthy families make better congregants.

The onus isn’t only on employers, the government too needs to play a role as indirectly it will be stimulating domestic tourism. Tax-deductible incentives are a start.

Domestic tourism package vendors need strategies that capture the wishes of ordinary workers and market them to employers.

As it stands, the competition to family travel is alcohol outlets.

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