Supporting Parenting in the Workplace

Supporting Parenting in the Workplace

Employers can create workplaces that make it easier to balance working and caring for family members. Policies which support parents in the workplace increase workforce retention and employee satisfaction. They can also do much more beyond making your employees feel valued. These policies can have direct public health impacts such as improving infant and maternal health. Providing these supports in local government offices or any other place of employment can allow policy makers to support their employees, and lead by example for other local businesses.

Implementation Strategies

+ Paid Family Leave

Paid family leave policies offer parents time off for the birth or adoption of a child and may include time off for illnesses of other family members. These policies can be implemented in a variety of different ways.

  • Paid family leave policies can have a positive impact parents’ income and job stability. Additionally, employers can benefit from increased productivity among employees [1]
  • Studies on paid leave in the U.S. and elsewhere have shown health benefits for both children and mothers, including a reduction of low birthweights and pre-term births, reduced infant hospitalizations, increased maternal health [2], and increased wellbeing among children.

+ Lactation Rooms

Lactation rooms provide a private place for nursing mothers to pump or breastfeed. While compliant rooms must simply provide a private, clean space other than a restroom, lactation rooms should provide a refrigerator, outlets, sinks, storage space and a sign up system [3].

  • Supporting breastfeeding in the workplace increases employee satisfaction and reduces employee turnover [4].
  • Breastfeeding employees who are supported in the workplace report higher productivity and loyalty to their company and supporting breastfeeding can create a positive public image for companies [5].
  • Having a dedicated space available and a pumping break policy increases breastfeeding after returning to work and makes moms more likely to continue breastfeeding. Having a dedicated lactation space can increase breastfeeding and positively impact maternal and infant health [6].