The United States is the only industrialized country in its peer group that does not provide paid maternity leave.
There are maternity leave laws in 41 nations, so this would be a wonderful place to start in the United States to help working parents.
Although some governments have taken matters into their own hands, only 19 percent of employees in the United States have access to paid family leave. This likely contributed to a drop in the US birth rate, but the lack of such a law also tends to dominate discussions about how businesses might assist parents in succeeding.
According to this business blog post, employers can go above and beyond typical maternity leave policies to support parents. Let’s look at some family-friendly workplace practices that are important for gender balance and support, such as:
remote work hours flexibility New mothers on the job and family rooms
childcare assistance Ditch The 9-to-5
Kids don’t understand what a nine-to-five work is, and our educational systems don’t appear to either. Do you know of a school that works with parents’ regular working hours?
Working parents require more flexibility, including the ability to work a few days a week remotely.
Working around daycare, attending school plays and sporting activities, and keeping their children at home when they’re sick are all part of life. Employers must understand the duties of working parents.
Working from Home
Insofar as it doesn’t suggest that parents should be less accountable or responsible for completing job responsibilities, demonstrating empathy lets an employee off the hook. Parents should not be forced to feel guilty for having children and supporting the country’s aging population.
Remote working eliminates travel time, freeing up a couple of hours each day to spend with family or work. Working from home also reduces stress.
Allowing your employees, especially those with young kids, to work from home part of the week has numerous advantages.
Many new mothers are concerned about returning to work since they must figure out how to pump at work while also leaving their newborns.
Some of it has to do with scheduling, but most of it has to do with where they’ll pump and store milk – which they shouldn’t have to worry about because employers are obligated to provide a private pumping place.
In an ideal world, new moms shouldn’t have to think about this issue. Make a mother’s room a routine component of your office architecture and let your employees know it’s there if they need it.
Accept All Families
Companies can’t discriminatefrom discriminating based on age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, but just because some categories are legally protected does not mean that all families are treated equally.
Organizations can help by ensuring that adopted and foster parents have access to family leave, including maternity and paternity leave.
Many adoptive parents, particularly those who adopt newborns, already do this. Providing leave to foster parents who are settling a new child into their home is a rare occurrence that should be considered.
Provide Childcare Assistance
The United States’ childcare infrastructure is insufficient to meet the needs of all children who require daycare or after-school activities. What is available is frequently both prohibitively expensive and inadequately regulated. In many circumstances, putting a child in daycare would completely consume the second income, which is one of the main reasons many families rely on a single income.
As a result of this problem, many businesses are providing childcare assistance, such as childcare subsidies and backup daycare services. This is critical for parents whose babysitter is unwell and unable to work or who are unable to locate an inexpensive daycare spot for their children.
Businesses avoided implementing family-friendly policies for years since it was assumed that mothers would stay at home with their children for at least a few years after giving birth if they had worked previously.
However, such assumptions are rarely valid anymore if they ever were in the first place.
In the United States, paid maternity and paternity leave are required. It’s working in the 40 countries that have ranked the United States last. Any prosperous country cannot be happy in this situation.
Businesses can also help by changing workplace practices to modernize and invest in their employees, which increases employee loyalty and retention — a win-win situation for all.