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How to implement a paid family leave policy in your company

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An image of parent with their child in the airport going to a vacation

Parents with newly born children need to adjust to their new lifestyle with their family. Employers give their employees some amount of time to make their employees bond with their children before returning to work. Other employees may take time to care for their parents or visit a relative that is sick, or just spend time with their families and go on a family trip, there are a lot of reasons to take a paid family leave. When you create an effective paid family leave policy, will lead to higher employee engagement, retention, and productivity and build trust between the employer and employees.

What is paid family leave policy?

Paid family leave has become a benefit at most jobs nowadays if not all of them. Paid family leave policy is a policy that allows your employees to take paid time off due to family emergencies, parental leaves, and maternity leave.

What is maternity leave?

Maternity leave is a period of time that the mother asks for before giving birth or after, the start of this period of time depends on the mother’s request. Maternity leave can be referred to as parental leave because any parent of any gender can be paid to take time off to take care of a newborn baby.

Tips on how to implement a paid family leave policy in your company:

1-Learn about your country’s laws

You have to look up your country’s laws about paid family leaves, some countries require that the family leave is paid and some require that they are unpaid

2-Put your own set of rules for a leave

First of all, you have to decide how many leaves an employee is allowed per year. How will the leaves be splinted; how many days are for sick leaves, family leave, and any other kind of leave? Setting your budget is of great importance so that you can decide how many paid leaves your employee will get and how many leaves will be unpaid. You can include all this information in your employee self-service software. Make it clear to your employees that leave requests must be presented to HR or the boss before a certain number of days to be processed. 

3-Organize leaves and paid time off

Paperwork has become a hectic and stressful job, too many leaves at once can leave you with so much processing and a headache. This age of digitalization has left us with many solutions to get rid of paperwork and make it easier and more organized. Presenting a Leave manager software or PTO manager software to your employees will grant you many benefits. First of all your employees can request leaves at any time from anywhere, another reason that a time off management software or a PTO tracking software will benefit your company is that it will make it easier for you and HR to process leaves and answer them. This will also make your employees know how many leaves are left for them and count their used leaves.

4-Make it flexible for your employees

Let’s consider that some of your employees will not use all of their paid leaves per year. You can consider doing rollovers to the next year, but with a max number of days to be rolled and the remaining leaves are handed out as bonus added to the payroll, but this option will depend on the employer and the rules they set.

5-include men in paid family leave

When hearing the term family leave most people to think of a mother, but not all paid family leaves should be for women only. Put in mind that men are also parents and every now and then they will need paid family leaves for family matters. Maternity leave is the kind of leave that should be offered to women at any time they like when they are pregnant.

6-Keep in touch section

For instance let’s suppose a woman has taken maternity leave for six months and then returned to her job, the return to work transition will be very hard for her. A solution for the return to work transition is to make a keep in touch section in your employee self-service software for your employees to send their congratulations for a woman who gave birth for example and ask about each other on any type of long leaves. This idea will make the return-to-work transition much smoother and make your employees feel much more comfortable.

7-Be understanding

A great number of employees don’t like their bosses and the reason is that their bosses don’t approve of their leaves easily no matter the reason. Put in mind that your employees have personal lives and matters outside of work that they need to attend to after they finish work and sometimes an emergency pops out that makes the employee ask for a leave suddenly.

8- Always update your paid family leave policy

Your paid family leave policy can’t stay the same for long you have to update it every once in a while and put your employees’ opinions in mind. At the end of every six months, you can present a survey for your employees to fill out with your employee self-service software. Use your employees’ ideas and comment to always update your policy, because their opinions matter. When you use their opinions, this will make them feel valued and appreciated. Also, search for information to update your policy and review it with some of your colleagues before handing them out to your employees.

What will your company benefit from a well-paid family leave policy?

1-Increased employee retention

Paid family leave will decrease the turnover rate greatly, about 30% of women leave their jobs after one year of giving birth to a child according to the American University Department of Economics. Paid family leave allows low-income mothers to create a bond with their newborns and sort out child care so that they have no hindrances when they return to work.

2-Attracts new talent

When people apply for a job and find that paid family leave is a benefit, this will attract many new talents to your workplace.

3-increase productivity and boost employees’ morale

 When your employees know that after their leave they will return to their jobs, this will give them a high sense of job security and will make them return to their jobs excited and productive.

4-Improves the mental health of parents and their children

Many parents have to choose between work and being a parent when they have a newborn child. Taking paid family leaves time to care for a newborn or ill child will make the employees more comfortable and decrease their worries.