More husbands follow relocating wivesDespite continuing...

WORKPLACE & CAREERS

October 01, 1993|By KIM CLARK | KIM CLARK,Staff Writer

More husbands follow relocating wives

Despite continuing corporate cutbacks, employers are still moving key people to new locations. And, increasingly, those new people are women who are bringing husbands along as "accompanying partners," or as the old politically incorrect term described them, "trailing spouses."

Three years ago, only about 13 percent of all corporate transfers involved women who brought men along, said Keith Basogno, marketing manager for PHH Homequity, a relocation service.

Last year, though, nearly one out of five corporate transfers was a woman. And if the trend continues, one out of three transfers will be a woman with an accompanying partner, Mr. Basogno said.

And that is causing some new challenges for companies.

"It can create some role-reversal shock, and that has to be addressed," Mr. Basogno said.

In addition, women who are moved tend to ask for more corporate help. "When males are faced with career change, they tend to be really focused on the new job. But females focus on the totality of the family," he said.

Now, about half of all companies offer benefits such as career assistance to accompanying partners, Mr. Basogno said.

Cindy Salter, director of destination services operations, said she confronted the "accompanying partner" problem head on last year when the company transferred her from Connecticut to Bethesda.

She found services such as research on school districts invaluable as she helped manage the move of her family.

But one of the reasons her move was comparatively easy was that her husband stays at home to take care of their three children, and thus had time to help sell their old house and settle them into their new home.

"I can't imagine having to do all the things that are required, move, purchase a new home, settle in, and then go through the newspaper" to check the want ads for a new job, she said.

Younger bankers find job search easier

Younger laid-off bankers find it easier than older bankers to get new, good-paying jobs, a Right Associates study has found.

In a survey of its banking clients from 1990 through 1992, the Philadelphia-based outplacement services company found that the longer the recession went on, the longer it took for bankers of all ages to find new jobs.

In 1992, for example, it took those under the age of 40 nearly 28 weeks to find new jobs, up from 22 weeks in 1990.

Those over the age of 50 took 40 weeks, up from 35 weeks in 1990.

Martin G. Pilachowski, of Right Associates' Baltimore office, said it is taking an average of six months for bankers in this area to find new jobs.

The good news, though, he said, is that the search time is no longer increasing.

Franklin Square cuts part-timers' benefits

In the continuing paring back of the local health care industry, Franklin Square Hospital has reduced benefits for some of its part-time workers.

Frank Moorman, spokesman for the hospital, said that from now on new hires who work fewer than 16 hours a week will not get health insurance or earn vacation or sick time.

Current part-timers will keep the vacation and sick time they've earned, but will have to contribute more to keep their health insurance, Mr. Moorman said.

The not-for-profit hospital is in the black, but has been cutting back because it is having trouble filling its beds. Last week, 29 employees were laid off.

Mr. Moorman said approximately 200 of the hospital's 2,500 workers would be affected by the new benefits policy.

Although one of the hospital's biggest financial problems is absorbing the costs of care of people who don't have insurance, Mr. Moorman said he doesn't see any irony in the hospital eliminating health insurance for some employees.

"We are normalizing our benefits program, to make it in line with what other hospitals offer," he said.

"We are also a business that needs to make difficult business decisions," he said.

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