How to Best Support Working Parents
September 16, 2021
By Celeste Gable, Marketing Coordinator
Parents make up 40% of the workforce. They are managers, supervisors, and essential employees vital to the company. And now, more than ever, working parents need new and improved benefits to support their families and prevent burnout. For a majority of the last year, schools, daycares, and offices were closed. Parents were juggling being teachers, caregivers, and employees. Lines between work and home life were indefinitely blurred. The COVID-19 Pandemic created many challenges for parents and brought to light gaps in support that they need from employers.
With the challenges that working parents face put on display, companies have new priorities to make parents feel supported at work. Parents that feel involved and included in their workplaces are 41% less likely to leave. Below, we will outline a few specific ways you can build a culture of support for working parents, and retain them at your company.
Maternity and Paternity Leave
Allowing parents time to with their newborns is crucial for the baby’s health and your employees’ wellbeing. By offering a great, paid maternity and paternity leave for employees, parents ca Parents were juggling being teachers, caregivers, and employees. n focus on what matters most: their baby. Federal Employee Paid Leave Act recommends 12 weeks paid leave for new parents but the average maternity leave often ends up being shorter. 70% of women take about 10 weeks and 16%–only take one to four weeks off work following childbirth. Mothers who utilize paid leave have only a 2.6% likelihood of quitting their job and a 92.3% chance of returning to the same employer after birth.
Flexible Work Schedule
Parenthood offers both the expected and unexpected events that interrupt the average 9-5 workday., Companies that offer hybrid work can help to alleviate the stress parents face in balancing work and life. Flextime can offer unique solutions for working parents by allowing them to accommodate for dropping off and picking up kids from school. Employers still have control over core hours when everyone must be working but employees control the rest of their schedule. There are even more advantages associated with fully remote positions, offering mom or dad the freedom to care for their child without falling behind.
For many, remote work isn’t possible and for kids not yet in school, childcare is essential. Some companies may be able to offer on-site daycare options, making the transition of sending the little ones off easier. Overall, 7% of U.S. businesses offer on-site childcare benefits. Companies unable to provide on-site childcare may find other ways to accommodate parents. This could include subsidized childcare, cost-matching programs for childcare accounts, or partnerships with nearby facilities to offer priority slots and discounts.
Progressive companies may offer working parents additional options to support them and their families. These could include Lactation support through private rooms, free breast pumps, or free breast milk shipping for traveling moms. Fertility and adoption benefits could also be enacted by creating policies to subsidize the cost of fertility treatments and adoption fees.
Above all, as an organization, manager, or employee, it is important to show compassion and understanding for working parents. Each and every individual has a different situation whether her or she is a parent or not, and it is extremely important for companies to create an environment where employees will thrive.
September 16th is Working Parents Day. This is an unofficial holiday created to praise those parents who work every day, in and out of the home, to provide a healthy and safe life for their families. Take a moment to recognize someone for their hard work and dedication as they work to support their families and keep up with family meals, practices, new school environments, or just the laundry. To all the working parents out there, Direct Recruiters truly appreciates all that you do!