Family friendly policies in the workplace

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Health Assured team

16 September 2019

More and more employers are looking into ways to keep their employees healthy and happy. Happier staff members work harder, go further and stick around for longer—so it’s important your business provides effective support.

Work/life balance is an essential part of this. Staff need to be able to decompress at the end of a working day. But this can be difficult when including the needs of a family.

Most employers are now introducing family-friendly policies to make themselves as inviting as possible to the best workers. Think about how you want prospective employees to see you.

If you come across as a helpful, considerate workplace regarding family-friendly policies and work/life balance, you’ll attract better workers and retain the ones you already have.

What is a family-friendly workplace policy?

It allows a working parent to enjoy as positive a work/life balance as possible. Things like flexibility, allowing later start times and added leave to deal with school emergencies—these are invaluable to a working parent.

These are some examples of family-friendly work policies:

  • Flexitime: It’s the idea of having core set hours (often 10am-4pm) where employees need to be present at their workplace. Then they’re given the flexibility to adjust start and finishing times to suit their work/life balance while ensuring their required working hours are completed. All staff members can request this—previously, only working parents had the right to flexible hours, but that changed in 2014.
  • Remote working: When parents can work from home—even just once a week—that means more time spent with people they care about. It certainly makes the school run a lot easier.
  • Maternity/paternity leave: Of course, statutory maternity leave is a thing, but it’s a good idea to go above and beyond what’s legally required if you want to be known as a family-friendly workplace.
  • Childcare: Many workplaces offer vouchers toward childcare, and some go further, offering an onsite crèche—invaluable to working parents.
  • Event days: Picnics, ‘bring your kid to work day’, Christmas parties and summer activities are all brilliant ways to build a family-friendly environment at work.

The trick is to remember that working parents sometimes face a lot of difficulties and any help in making their life easier will be appreciated.

Other ways to show you care include:

  • Providing new fathers with the same rights to time off as new mothers.
  • Making sure employees stationed globally have the same opportunities regardless of local minimum rules.
  • Offering counselling and advice on returns to work after maternity/paternity leave.

It’s important to remember employees have their own lives, experiences and difficulties to deal with.

If you want to know more about how to help—on any wellbeing subject, not just families and work/life balance—contact Health Assured today on 0844 892 2493

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