There is no denying that modern employees are increasingly considering wellness benefits as a crucial aspect of their decisions to apply for and take on roles across diverse industries. Parental leave is one of America’s most sought-after work benefits as many employees struggle to balance work obligations and caregiving responsibilities. According to a Pew Research Center study, 82% and 69% of Americans agree that mothers and fathers should have paid parental leave. As such, it is essential to craft a great parental leave policy for your employees to build trust, demonstrate your interest in their wellness, and improve retention. Here’s how to create an excellent parental leave policy for your staff.
- Determine what you can offer
Not all enterprises are in the same position, so it is vital to be realistic about what you can give new parents at your workplace to avoid any broken promises. For starters, evaluate your company’s budget to determine parental leave costs. These expenses include the salary and benefits you will pay to workers while they are on leave and any short-term worker compensation if necessary. Fortunately, you can rely on reputable employment law support services to help you calculate how much you will pay for parental leave. This way, you can determine how much you can realistically afford to part with when drafting your policy.
However, it is crucial to remember that parental leave isn’t just an expense but a key investment. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that the cost of replacing one employee is about one-third of their yearly pay. To be specific, the cost of losing an employee due to a poor or absent parental leave benefit could exceed the cost of the leave itself. Therefore, it is crucial not to pinch pennies when drafting your policy if you can afford better.
- Consult your staff
Parental leave is for employees, so it is advisable to consult them in the policy-making process. Therefore, gather opinions and ideas from your staff regarding what they require from parental leave. You can achieve this through anonymous surveys or having a tête-à-tête with each worker if your workforce isn’t too large to boost employee relations. Consulting your staff can help you determine which benefits are vital and what you can exclude so your policy benefits employees the most.
- Specify eligibility requirements
The workplace and society at large have evolved dramatically, so parental leave is no longer synonymous with maternal leave alone. Consequently, create an inclusive parental leave policy to enable both parents to be heavily involved in childcare and demonstrate your advocacy for gender equality. In addition, specify the eligibility requirements that qualify employees as parents. It would help to clarify whether this leave applies to biological mothers and fathers, primary caregivers, foster parents, and even adoptive parents. Also, specify how the benefits you provide vary by circumstance. For instance, some companies allow step-parents to add stepchildren to their health insurance, but they do not qualify for paid parental leave.