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On the heels of Mother's Day weekend, it would be appropriate to talk about your maternity or parental leave policy. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Netflix offer attractive, full paid parental leave packages and its putting pressure on other companies and organizations to compete. The motivation behind these highly-desired packages is snagging desirable employees, increased employee retention and bringing the "work/life balance" motto to fruition. But what if you aren't offering a package?
Creating a parental leave plan can be complicated, but here are a few tips for designing a package that will support your valued employees and give you some benefit leverage when it comes to hiring desired candidates.
1. Research the current legislation to get a good idea of what laws currently exist related to maternity and FMLA. This will provide you with a great jumping off point and be the base for your policy.
2. Consult with your Human Resource staff and members of the Executive team to create a rough draft of your policy. They may have some ideas or insights related to maternity leave patterns within your organization- information that will be valuable as you create your package.
3. Review and include the various types of leave. Yes, there are different types- Intermittent, Reduced Schedule and Block-of-time Leave. Also, consider full paid leave. You may need to seek advice from someone in finance to calculate the cost of this, but it's a hot commodity and there are many benefits for you and your employees.
4. Communicate your plan. Once your plan is complete, be sure to pass this information on to your employees, add it to your handbook and make someone available to answer any questions your employees may have.
5. Enforce the plan. Create an internal checklist and provide your employees with any documents that need to be completed by them in order for HR and Finance to initiate and carry out the leave. A checklist will streamline the whole process and make it easy for your employee (and for you!) to take leave without worry.
Bonus! Aside from creating the maternity or parental plan itself, have a plan for when your employee returns from leave. Again, a checklist for the post-leave transition will make it easy for the employee to re-engage when back at work. This can include any documents that need to be signed, a "catch-up" meeting to get them up to speed on projects, preparing a pump room for new moms and assisting them with adding their new baby as a dependent to their health insurance plan.
For some information on streamlining your Time & Labor processes and managing FMLA, check out our infographic, Automate Your Time & Labor: Cut Costs and Stay Compliant.