The average employer may think that what goes on in the personal lives of its employees is none of its business, but the reality is that personal problems are not easily left at home. This is particularly true when the threat of financial instability is real. Divorce is a common personal issue, and can have a lasting negative impact on one’s personal finances. When employees are struggling with both the financial and emotional impact of divorce, it could have a substantial impact on their ability to perform their job.
The average cost of a divorce in the United States in 2012 was $20,000, a hefty sum by most standards. That cost does not take into account the additional costs of being a single parent or finding new housing and handling costs on a single income. Further, the mental toll of divorce and a new living situation cannot be underestimated.
Having an employer-sponsored personal hardship relief fund available to employees facing this type of situation could be a huge help. Divorce is, of course, a personal issue and not the same as a natural disaster. However, the truth is that when you invest in an employee over the long-term, helping them weather these figurative storms is part of that investment.
It is not financially viable, nor does it present a positive company image, to abandon employees in their times of need, literally or figuratively. By providing a way to help them move past a divorce, you will have also helped improve their productivity, and likely their loyalty as well. Employees will rest easier knowing that their company supports them in times of need, and the employer benefits from a productive, reassured workforce.
Source: Guillot, C. June 14, 2012. The Financial Impact of Divorce. Mint Life. https://www.mint.com/blog/planning/the-financial-impact-of-divorce-062012/