Being a working parent is not an easy task, but a majority still report that maintaining employment is crucial. According to a survey done by the Pew Research Center (2019), 82 percent of dads and 51 percent of moms believe that working full-time is what is best for them right now.
Of course, working comes with it’s own challenges. The same Pew Research survey found that parents found it harder to advance their careers than their peers; that they were more frequently passed up for important projects; and that they weren’t able to give 100 percent of themselves to their job because of their responsibilities at home. But the same survey found that working made it harder for employees to be good parents.
The U.S. Department of Labor found that 63 percent of families have both parents in the workforce. Fortunately, there are some employers who are making it a priority to support their working parent employees. While this may seem altruistic, it is also financially prudent for companies to retain talented parents. According to Jennifer Allyn, the diversity and strategy leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, it can cost more than $120,000 to replace a top employee.
Support strategies are evolving beyond the onsite daycare or allowing employees to work remotely. Here are five companies who have put together creative, inclusive, and enticing support programs for working parents in 2020.
Hilton is one of only 12 percent of employers who offer paid family leave, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). New mothers receive 12 weeks of paid leave, and new dads or adoptive parents receive four.
Transitioning in and out of the workplace can be challenging and Hilton helps to bridge that gap with their “Parent Concierge” services for all its U.S. employees. Their “Parenthood Journey Program,” in partnership with Stanford, provides a wide array of support, including video training for managers of new parents, online learning for new moms, and a myriad other tools for partners to better support the primary parent and the baby.
Because work at Hilton can entail a significant amount of travel, Hilton also offers its employees access to MilkStork at no cost. This program assists working breastfeeding moms in storing and shipping their breast milk when away from their babies. These unique family friendly policies are accompanied with other benefits such as extended bereavement leave, adoption assistance, and family-inclusive travel discounts.
What really sets Hilton apart is that these benefits are available to all employees—from the corporate executives all the way down to the hotel front desk staff.
Deloitte, a financial services company, knows offering standard perks for working parents isn’t enough. They have put together a robust family friendly work policy.
One of the unique benefits they offer their employees is a “Time Out” scheme which allows employees to take four weeks of unpaid leave once a year for any reason. The objective of this policy is to allow staff to balance work and family life. They also have an “Annualized Day” policy, which allows parents to have an irregular annual work schedule. While it may not work for all positions, with manager approval parents can choose to work primarily during the school year and be home during school breaks.
Paid maternal leave at Deloitte is one step above average with full paid leave being offered to the primary parent for 16 weeks. Then, employees may continue to take leave for ten weeks at 50 percent pay. This is available not only for pregnancies, but also for adoptions or surrogacy. New dads are offered four weeks of paid leave.
The unique policies are just a small part of a robust family friendly plan. Other benefits include a 24/7 parent helpline, GLOBE Families support network for LGBTQ+ families, paid emergency child care, and flexible work schedules.
HubSpot recognizes that planning a family is an important step for many employees. Women are waiting to have children, with the average age of motherhood rising to 26 in 2018 from 21 in 1972 according to the New York Times. The average age is even higher for college-educated women or in tech hub cities such as San Francisco. The option to plan or delay motherhood with the support of an employer can be an enticing benefit. To that end, HubSpot offers female employees 32 years old or over financial support in freezing their eggs.
Another unique benefit HubSpot offers is a paid four-week sabbatical after five years of employment. This allows employees to take a long family vacation or just take a large chunk of summer break off. Additionally, as long as all essential work is getting done, HubSpot allows employees to take unlimited vacation days.
Other benefits at HubSpot include 16 weeks of paid paternity leave, tuition reimbursement to take courses for career advancement, 24/7 mental health services, and employee resource groups. HubSpot is also known to be a fun place to work as they schedule outings, workplace surprises, and even muder mystery dinners.
Ernst & Young, or EY, is a global professional services firm that has been featured on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the past 21 years. Part of what makes them such a great place to work is that they have crafted a comprehensive benefits package with a focus on recruiting and retaining parents.
For those planning a family, EY offers their employees a program called “Pathways to Parenthood.” One unique aspect of this program is a $25,000 benefit to be used to start a family be it for surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, or adoption, allowing employees the flexibility to use the benefit for the services they need. To further support this, primary caregivers are offered 16 weeks of paid paternity leave when a new member joins the family be it through birth, adoption, legal guardianship, surrogacy, or even foster care.
Support for families also extends to comprehensive medical insurance including 2nd.MD, which gives employees, dependents, and immediate family members access to world-class physicians at no cost. To keep parents healthy and active, EY also reimburses up to 75 percent of the cost of a gym membership and $500 a year worth of fitness equipment.
In 2019, Cisco rolled out three new progressive family friendly policies. The first policy is a $20,000 for egg harvesting, storage, or other pregnancy support service. Second, they increased surrogacy and adoption reimbursement from $10,000 to $20,000, allowing employees greater flexibility in starting their families. Lastly, Cisco has begun offering the unique benefit of genetic testing before, during, or after pregnancy. This benefit can also be applied to genetic testing for breast or ovarian cancer, even if they are not determined to be medically necessary.
Cisco also offers generous paid maternity and paternity leave, as well as three paid days off for grandparents and extended leave plans for those caring for family members. Overall, Cisco aims to have what they call “work-life integration.” They want all parts of an employees life to work seamlessly and have implemented policies where they do not monitor what hours or how many hours employees work, but rather focus on the output. This allows parents the flexibility to work the hours that best suit them and still excell at their jobs.
In addition to these family friendly policies, onsite gyms, healthcare centers, daycares, and cafeterias help reduce errand-running and commute times, allowing parents more time for their families and ease in self-care.