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Helping Parents Get Back into the Groove After Parental Leave: A Weekend Roundup

As parental incentives become more common in recruiting efforts, it’s become more important than ever for every company to have a well thought out benefits plan. Many parents, both mothers and fathers, now expect a minimum of six weeks paid parental leave. So how can your company stand out from the crowd? Here are a few ways to boost your benefits for parents and their babies:

Allow babies up to six months old to come into the office.

In many areas of the country, it can be extremely difficult to find a daycare to accept a child under six months. For those parents who have no help from family or are unable to afford at-home care, this can be a major issue. To attract more parents, consider allowing babies into the office. Typically, mothers will take 12 weeks of leave, leaving only three months left for the baby to come into the office. Data shows that parent interaction at this age will allow for a healthier, stronger baby to grow, and it can relieve financial and emotional stress for the new parent.

To ensure that the parent’s duties are still being maintained, strike up a memo that the supervisor and parent both agree on. This should include guidelines such as keeping noise to a low level, ensuring that all tasks are completed on time, and that it doesn’t impact meetings and timelines. It should also include where the parent can have space to perform certain parental duties, such as breast feeding and changing diapers.

Create a transitional period with adjusted hours.

For some parents, coming back into the office in full swing right after maternity leave can be a stressful experience, especially if parents are taking less than 12 weeks. Consider creating temporary transitional period for new parents. Rather than coming back for a full 40 hours, parents can work 20- or 30-hour weeks or take Fridays off with adjusted pay. This can also be available to new dads or secondary parents who are not taking parental leave. If adjusted hours aren’t right for your company, there is also the option of creating a telecommuting system, where certain tasks can be done from home and parents can still log 40 hours.

Have backup childcare available.

Any parent knows that it’s hard to leave a sick baby, and it’s even tougher with the stress of an important meeting or project coming up. Many large companies now offer a form of sick days that are for children. If a sick child can’t make it to daycare or school, parents have the option of subsidized or certain amount of days of at-home care from a nanny service, provided by the employer. This allows parents to still make it into work, while knowing their children are in safe hands.

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