Stop the ‘brain drain’ and prepare employees for parental leave – recent survey reports parents want to work!
A new survey shows parents would rather return to the workplace sooner than take 24 months parental leave.
CareerMums recently conducted a survey on workplace challenges confronting working parents. The survey attracted 335 respondents and covered topics such as recently introduced employment law, key barriers to returning to work and childcare.
When asked if they would prefer to use the full 24 months of parental leave or return to work sooner, 46% of parents said they would prefer to return to work earlier and access flexible work arrangements. However the key barriers that parents continue to face when considering a return to work are limited access to flexible roles (72%), the excessive cost of childcare (68%), and a limited number of childcare places (35%), reports the CareerMums survey. Survey results.
Early preparation is a vital aspect of retaining parents as employees. Historically, employers have focused their attention on providing employee benefits such as financial incentives, however, these benefits are often not provided until after the parental leave has commenced or once parents have already returned to work.
mums@work works with a number of employers who are taking a more progressive approach to staff retention. These employers are discussing flexible work strategies before the parent takes leave. Preparing your staff for parental leave checklist.
During the parental leave absence, these employers are also working hard to help the employee stay connected to the organisation, making returning to work a smoother transition for both employee and manager.
Belinda Abbott, Diversity Consultant at Westpac, recognises the importance of early preparation in retaining valuable staff; “ Westpac has launched a whole new series of parental support toolkits and training seminars aimed at helping expectant parents plan for leave and for those who have returned to work to feel more supported on an ongoing basis. Westpac also has a number of flexible work practices, including part-time and job-share, available to all employees. We also recently announced we would be Australia’s first major corporation to pay superannuation on unpaid parental leave for all permanent employees. This is an industry-leading initiative that will help us reverse the Australia-wide retirement savings gap experienced by employees, particularly those who take unpaid parental leave”
Organisations such as Mallesons Stephen Jaques are also developing parent forums focussed specifically on helping employees who are returning from parental leave manage their ‘new’ life as working parents and ensuring they have access to the additional ongoing support that is available to enable work life balance.
If you would like to discuss how your business can maximise staff retention, call Emma Walsh, Director of mums@work on 02 9967 8377.
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