WFH Wednesday: Why Parental Benefits Are More Important Than Ever
In a year of unexpected changes, many companies are reconsidering their benefits packages, to better meet their employees’ needs. Obviously, we think that’s a great call! After all, when they’re administered correctly, benefits aren’t just a nice bonus — they can make a real and tangible difference in your employees’ lives.
The bad news? Some key benefits still aren’t being taken seriously. Of the companies that have gone back to work in the last few months, 42% did not have a dedicated plan to help their employees balance work with childcare — a shocking oversight, considering how hard working parents have been hit during the pandemic.
Why is it Important to Offer Parent-Specific Benefits?
Obviously not all of your employees are (or plan to be) parents. That being said, benefits are never going to be a one-size-fits-all solution. The fact of the matter is, parenting is a full-time job, on top of employees’ actual full time jobs. And if you want them to show up equally for both, it only seems fair to give them a little help along the way.
Still not convinced? Here are some interesting statistics, courtesy of Sage People:
Workplaces with parental leave policies are 60% more likely to report above-average financial performance than companies without them. For workplaces with paternity leave policies, this becomes 93%.
Out of the companies that have a dedicated plan to address childcare in the coming months, 86% are considering allowing flexible hours (great!) but only 9% of organizations are considering or providing subsidies to parents to help afford childcare (not as great).
OK, I’m On Board. What Kinds of Benefits Should I Offer?
As we mentioned above (and have mentioned before) benefits will never be one-size-fits-all. With that in mind, brainstorming a flexible, comprehensive plan to address parental benefits, childcare support, children’s activities, or all three at once is a good place to start.
The key word above is flexible: not two kids (or parents) have exactly the same needs. It’s also important to note that some specific benefits, while great on their own, might be too rigid for the quickly-changing COVID landscape. Kids these days might switch from going to school full-time to learning from home at a moment’s notice, and your plan should reflect that possibility.
In terms of more concrete, short-term steps, consider taking advantage of the Section 139 Disaster Payments, if you haven’t already (to learn more about that, read here). And if you’re uncertain what kinds of benefits your working parents might be looking for, consider using our survey template to collect data and make an informed decision.
Need help managing your employees’ benefits? We’re here for you! Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.