There have been many stresses and strains on family situations over the last few years, and none have been more acute than the covid pandemic. These stresses and strains can be exacerbated by working from home with young kids running around or with a baby screaming.
There are different time periods of official parental leave depending on a country’s rules and regulations, and different rates of paid salary. Employers can, of course, offer their own amount of parental leave, which can affect an employee’s decision to either stay with a company or sign an employment contract.
Employees are looking for employers that offer good benefits
According to research conducted by Vodafone, a quarter of 18-34-year-olds didn’t apply for a job because of a lack of support for parents, and one in five quit due to poor parental leave policies. To add to this, Vodafone’s research also found that more than half of the people surveyed said parental leave policies are an indication of a good employer, regardless if they were going to be parents themselves.
Research carried out by Bright Horizons seems to confirm Vodafone’s findings, with three quarters of people surveyed saying they would carefully consider accepting a job depending on what childcare benefits were offered. They also found that two thirds of participants would like job flexibility and more support for family life, something Bright Horizons say plays a “decisive role in talent retention and attraction”.
So what can employers do to address the issue of parental leave and childcare?
Offering a generous benefits and total rewards package is essential
Generally, if employers want to attract and retain talent and handle parental leave efficiently, then offering a good benefits and total rewards package is key. One way to do this is by using a platform or app, which can group all health and wellness benefits in one place through customizable pages, but this is just one aspect of supporting new parents.
UNICEF are campaigning for businesses to offer or support sufficient paid leave, affordable childcare, child benefits, and breastfeeding. They say that many businesses in many countries are seeing an increase in staff retention, less absenteeism and lower recruitment costs when they offer family-friendly policies and workplaces. Some of this support comes in the form of women returning to work after childbirth, and support for men who are sharing parenting responsibilities.
Every country has different statutory benefits for parental leave which could be as low as zero weeks of maternity leave in USA compared to 84 weeks in Estonia. However, businesses can choose benefits that will suit and support their employees that could be in line with what UNICEF highlight.
Some of the most common benefits companies choose are additional holiday time, health / dental / medical insurance, childcare allowances, and better paternity leave conditions, to name a few.
Once a benefits platform is in place, you have to let employees know it’s there
Communicating benefits is important when it an employer has chosen what they consider important to employees. If a HR platform is in place, either desktop or mobile, then letting employees know what they are entitled to is key. Employees will probably stay with an employer who offers benefits longer than one that doesn’t, and benefits that cover other family members rather than just the employee, will also be appreciated. It could also be the case that a company already has benefits that employees don’t know about due to antiquated company processes.
Isabelle Couquiaud-Schbath, Compensation & Benefits Associate Director at MSD, know this better than anyone and said MSD wanted to make sure every type of employee profile could find what they were looking for. She went on to say: “This was always the goal – to make information available to employees. By making things easier to discover, some employees have discovered or rediscovered benefits they forgot existed …”
Do you want to know more about our work with MSD? Read our client case below