December 08, 2020 | 5 min read
5 Ways Employers Can Invest In Working Parents


The dual-income family is quickly becoming the norm in the United States. With modern parenthood looking a lot different than it did just a couple of decades ago, many companies are starting to offer unique perks for working parents that never would have existed back then.

Given that nearly half of American households with children under the age of 18 have two parents who work full-time, this is a trend that more employers need to get on board with. And quickly. Health and safety concerns associated with COVID-19 have forced many working parents to simultaneously take on the roles of mom, dad, employee, and teacher.

Unfortunately, the stress has been too much for many employees—leading some to drop out of the workforce altogether. And these numbers show that working moms were particularly affected. There were nearly 1.5 million fewer mothers with children 18 or younger in the workforce in March 2021 compared to February 2020, according to U.S. Census Data. With professionals seeking more accommodations for working parents from their employers, companies that are not able (or willing) to adapt to evolving employee needs risk losing their top talent. Read also: 5 Ways Employers Can Support Moms In The Workplace

Making your company a family-friendly workplace doesn’t only benefit employees. It’s also good for business. Inclusive companies are 120% more likely to hit financial goals, while other studies have shown that working parents make more productive and loyal employees.

Helping your employees on the home front is a great way to foster a supportive and inclusive culture at your organization. If you are not sure of where to start, here are some parental benefits from companies leading the way:

Paid Parental Leave

One of the benefits that has seen significant growth over the last few years is paid leave for both parents. Several notable companies such as Netflix, Twitter, and Microsoft have recently rolled out these policies to ease the financial burden as new moms and dads transition to parenthood.

Childcare assistance

Some companies are making childcare less stressful and expensive for their employees by offering on-site childcare or partnerships with nearby facilities. For example, Nike has an entire child development team at their headquarters, while Home Depot offers 10 days per year of highly discounted dependent care for parents who need to work when their regular caregiver is unavailable.

If you do already offer childcare assistance, these benefits may be difficult to use amid a pandemic. As a result, some big tech companies are rolling out extended paid leave policies to help parents impacted by school and day care closures.

Family coaching

To retain employees that are starting families, EY, Deloitte, Proskauer Rose, and other professional services firms are offering family coaching programs. These initiatives connect employees with the resources they need to manage their responsibilities and succeed as working parents.

Unlimited PTO

A growing number of companies including GE and HubSpot are implementing unlimited vacation policies. While unlimited PTO is applicable to all employees, it affords parents more flexibility to care for sick kids, make the parent-teacher conference, and take kids to their doctor appointments.

Flexible scheduling

Recognizing that a traditional 9-5 workday is not always conducive to a parent’s schedule, many big-name companies like Resy and Squarespace are adopting more flexible scheduling policies. From remote work accommodations to compressed work weeks, this can help you create an environment that focuses on results, not hours. This will help assure working parents that they will not miss out on a raise or promotion because they needed to step away from their computer. Read also: Workplace Flexibility: A Key Tactic For Employee Retention

Check out our 2022 Hiring Outlook for more tips on cultivating a supportive environment for working parents.

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