National paid family leave is required by law in most high-income countries. And even when it isn’t, more and more businesses are finding out that it’s actually good business.
It should come as no surprise that paid family leave benefits workers. But the Boston Consulting Group’s Henderson Institute also found that PFL policies deliver significant business rewards too, including:
- Employee retention
- Talent attraction
- Reinforced company values
- Improved engagement, morale and productivity
- Enhanced brand equity
Yet, with ever-evolving requirements and regulations governing employee leave, it may be tough getting parental leave right. And most employees would probably agree.
The problem with paid family leave today
Consider, the UK government launched a campaign encouraging more parents to split parental responsibilities by giving them a shared 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of statutory pay after the arrival of their newborn. Introduced in April 2015, the government hoped it would boost gender equality in the workplace.
But last September, the Financial Times reported that just 1% of new parents were taking advantage of the scheme. They cited lack of information, remaining stigmas on paternity leave and confusion on what, as employees and parents, they were entitled to, as the top reasons for low engagement.
Companies risk losing both employee productivity, and possibly even their talent, by having cumbersome parental leave policies.
With so many variables to take into account; Salary, holiday pay entitlements, bonus payments, time of leave and due date to name a few, many expecting parents find the deluge of calculations anxiety inducing. And the online calculators aimed at helping with this process, usually assume you have the all figures on hand, and they also don’t take the many personal relevant circumstances into account that will factor into the result.
A proactive approach with intelligent solutions
To be proactive on maternity and paternity leave, employers should provide employees with tools that enable them to make sensible financial planning decisions.
For most businesses, calculating maternity and paternity leave is a rather arduous process. It involves a lot of back and forth for the employee, HR and Payroll, oftentimes taking weeks to complete. And when information inevitably changes, like the baby’s due date, the process has to start over from the beginning. Thus, it’s near impossible for employees to consider “what if” scenarios to make more informed decisions that help them and their growing families.
An easy-to-use app leveraging AI and intelligent automation can support employees with this decision-making process, including easy and efficient input from HR and payroll. Integrated within an organization’s HR and payroll systems, this tool significantly reduces the resources required for making maternity, paternity and shared parental leave calculations, improving productivity and the employee experience.
Ready to transform your maternity and paternity leave?