It's no secret that closing thousands of schools and childcare centers nationwide would have a major impact on all parents, working or not. The pandemic has put even more strain on an already overburdened childcare system that many people rely on to balance work and their families. While the Colorado Department of Human Services will cover child-care costs for essential workers through at least May 17, advocates say financial support for childcare centers, workers, and parents wanting paid leave policies has left much to be desired.
The Impact Of Coronavirus On Childcare
Evidence shows that financial instability can be worsened by lack of parental leave policies, leaving many families scrambling for care or dealing with instability when returning to work after unpaid leave. In a post-virus world, broader discussions on benefits and leave policies will shape our society for years to come. We predict stronger sick leave policies, flexible work policies, and benefits packages will be at the core of businesses defining their values.
We'd like to delve into one type of leave and its benefits, parental leave. Recently, BWBacon added a parental leave policy to our benefits package. Our leadership team is aware of the benefits for both mothers and fathers and wanted to ensure our team feels empowered to make decisions about their personal lives. Studies show that well-developed parental leave policies can help improve culture, increase employee retention, and promote a healthy work-life balance.
Understanding The Basics of Parental Leave
If you're planning a family or want to grow your brood in the future, finding a job with fair parental benefits is important. It can make or break your relationship with your employer when and if that time comes.
Luckily, we live in a time in which many employers—especially in tech—recognize the importance of parental leave policies. In the U.S., paying employees during this time is not legally required. Employers cannot fire an employee for taking personal time, but they're not obligated to pay them. The good news is, attitudes are shifting towards having paid parental leave policies in place as a standard practice.
We're exploring the importance of finding an employer with parental leave policies and highlighting a few Colorado companies with great benefits in place.
Why Parental Leave Matters
Plenty of studies show that paid parental leave plans are growing in importance. More mothers and fathers want to take additional time off to help their partner during the beginning weeks or months of having their child at home.
With a plan in place, mothers and fathers alike can make a stress-free choice to stay at home and help their partner. Figuring out child care can be very stressful for new parents. More time to relax and find options lessens the pressure on employees before they head back into the office.
Developing Parental Leave Programs
Technology organizations such as Facebook (Mark Zukerberg recently took a month to spend with his wife and their new child) tend to be the most progressive, but other industries are following suit. For example, Johnson and Johnson, IKEA, and Hilton Hotels and Resorts have all expanded their paid parental leave for fathers. Unfortunately, larger companies like these are still in the minority. Currently, just 18 percent of U.S. organizations offer paid maternity leave, and 12 percent provide paid paternity leave, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
These programs are often developed based on feedback from employees, industry trends, or pressure from competitors. As an employer, you have an opportunity to shift your offer package and consider a parental leave policy if your company does not have one currently. As a candidate, if parental leave is important to you, and is not stated in the interview process, work with your recruiter to bring it into the conversation.
From our experience, businesses often create parental leave policies as a way to protect themselves and their employees. It's better for them to be proactive than reactive and have policies in place. As for the actual benefits, policies are typically determined by the size of the company and how they earn revenue.
Whether you're building a new parental leave policy or researching companies for your next career move, consider the conversations around parental leave. You can also work with an expert to help understand the language. Features that outline an employee's return from leave are designed to protect the company and its employees. For example, the employee can take time off, but they have to come back to the company to get full pay. These policies also encourage retention and help ensure the return of valued employees after an extended leave.
Colorado Companies with Awesome Parental Leave Policies
Perhaps partially due to the impacts of coronavirus, the competitiveness of the benefits packages will continue to rise. As in many other States, there isn't a legislative act in Colorado that enforces paid parental leave. Many companies do choose to offer it to their employees, especially in the tech industry. The more companies offer this benefit, the more it becomes an expectation across the board.
Here are a few Colorado companies that offer great paternal leave policies.
This Denver-based financial company offers its employees generous paid maternal and paternal leave, among other benefits.
Client-focused firm Homebot offers its employees up to six weeks of parental leave maternity leave and four weeks of leave for paternity.
The Rate-My-Professor of medical practitioners and physicians offers up to 12 weeks of maternity leave and one-week paternity leave.
Overall, many of our tech clients acknowledge the benefit of having a parental leave policy. They recognize the importance of giving both men and women paid time off. Does your company help support new parents? We'd like to know!
Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.
If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!