Employers Embrace New Ways to Help Support Working Parents


In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are still embracing a variety of solutions to help working parents and retain top talent. Here are a few options to consider:

Telework Arrangements

Working remotely (telework) has boomed in popularity recently — obviously influenced by the coronavirus — but the trend began well in advance of the pandemic. This arrangement allows employees to work entirely remote. It can be a way for working parents to get kids to school without having to worry about an additional commute and spend more time with their young children.

Flexible Scheduling

Flexible scheduling is a step back from telework, focusing instead on when an employee works rather than where they do so. With this arrangement, employers set designated “core” hours that an employee must be working (location irrelevant) and otherwise let employees work whenever they like, setting their own schedule.

Another option is not having a core schedule, allowing employees to work any combination of a 40-hour workweek. This can be a great way to accommodate working parents who must also act as stay-at-home teachers or daycare instructors. It can also free up time for parents so they can work earlier and see their families more in the evening.

Generous Time-Off Policies

Some employers have generous policies related to paid time off (PTO), which is different than extended leave. Expanding PTO can be an excellent way to attract and retain working parents.

The easiest method for implementing this would be to adopt a PTO bank policy where employees can use their time off for any reason (as opposed to having set categories, such as sick days and vacation days).

Communicating With Employees

As the saying goes, “If you don’t know, ask.” Workplace policies are no exception. Before employers start drafting policies or begin devising worker accommodations, they should reach out to employees. Since the goal is to make life easier for working parents (and the rest of the workforce, to a lesser extent), employers should ensure the decisions are welcomed by employees.