The financial implications of taking time off work for the birth of a child are very much part of planning for a family. With so much information to absorb and so many different regulations and policies to follow, it can be difficult to work out your entitlements and make an informed decision.
To help combat this, earlier this year the government launched a campaign to encourage more parents to take shared parental leave as a way of sharing the responsibility of looking after their children. Shared parental leave, which allows both parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of statutory pay after their baby arrives, was introduced by the UK government in April 2015 in the hope it would boost gender equality in the workplace.
Calculations are complex
However, last September, the Financial Times reported that just 1% of new parents take advantage of the scheme. Some of the reasons given for the low take-up were lack of information, the stigma attached to men taking time off to care for their children, and confusion about what, as employees, parents are entitled to.
People aren’t just having trouble with shared parental leave; with so many variables to factor in (such as salary, holiday pay entitlements, bonus payments, length of time on leave and due dates), many expectant parents find that even a bog-standard maternity calculation can leave their heads in a spin. There are lots of online calculators available to assist with the process, but these assume that you have all the figures to hand and do not take into account any of many personal circumstances that may affect the result.
Employers should take a proactive approach towards maternity and paternity leave by providing employees with the tools to make more balanced financial planning decisions.
At most companies, the process of calculating maternity or paternity leave entitlement is quite complex and involves a lot a back and forth between the employee, HR and Payroll. This can often take days or weeks to complete and, when information such as the baby’s due date inevitably changes, the process must start again from the beginning. Because of this, it’s also incredibly difficult for people to change the variables and test the “what if” scenarios in order to make better personal and financial decisions for them and their families.
The solution to this complex problem is surprisingly simple.
An easy-to-use app that uses AI and intelligent automation to assist employees with their decision-making process and enables HR and Payroll departments too easily and efficiently perform their jobs. When integrated with all HR and payroll systems in an organzation, this app will significantly reduce the resources needed to make maternity, paternity and shared parental leave calculations, enabling your people to spend more time on other more productive areas of their jobs.
Are you ready to reduce the stress on your employees and lower your business costs?
Watch this quick video to see how our Ask apps can take the robot out of your humans, reducing the need for human intervention in all areas of your business and providing a better experience for employees.