Sadly, I must admit that I received this question a while ago and have been looking for a way to offer some good resources. Parental leave is an important subject and one that the U.S. often fails at miserably.
Hi Sharlyn. Quick question for you: what do you think is a ‘good’ maternity policy for a startup of 15 people to have? My company is in Missouri and they offer disability, which is all that is legally required. I’m working on building a business case for more but am struggling with a baseline for a company of our size. Any thoughts or suggested resources? Thanks!
This question is so hard for many reasons. We don’t know what industry the company is in. It’s possible the industry has a baseline that should be considered. We also don’t know the company’s growth plans. The organization might want to think about the future when making this type of decision instead of creating a policy today and then changing it in a year or two. I’m taking a broad approach, but here are a few resources to consider when it comes to parental leave:
First of all, if you are a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), then you have access to their “Ask an Advisor” member benefit. You can call, chat or email with an advisor who will send you relevant resources. I’ve used it for inclement weather policies, breaks and lunch policies, etc.
Additionally, the SHRM website has a forms section, where you can find parental leave forms as well as information about California parental leaves and guarantees of reinstatement. Not only do companies need to think about the best benefits to attract and retain talent, but how to legally implement and maintain those benefits.
If you’re looking for a specific policy that will give you some creative inspiration, I shared some details about Cisco’s parental leave policy in the post “Organizations: It’s Time for Family Friendly Leave Programs”.
And if you’re trying to sell a policy to senior management, it might be helpful to check out this post where our friends at Kronos share the details of their MyTime program, an open vacation benefit. While this reader note isn’t about unlimited vacation time, Kronos’ MyTime program provided them with the cost savings to expand their parental leave benefits.
We don’t always have to look at the United States to get creative inspiration about employee benefits. This infographic shares some information about parental leave policies around the world.
Finally, it’s important to remember that parental leave is a topic that is changing rapidly. Michael Carty from XpertHR discussed the impact of UK’s shared parental leave lawrecently in an HR Bartender post.
Parental leave is an important topic. Employees want to know that they are working for a company that respects their family life. Today and in the future. Honestly, it’s just good business. Ultimately, organizations will want to do their homework and create a benefit that aligns with their company culture.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, NV16