Juggling parenting and a career can be challenging for many and can often leave parents feeling exhausted, with little time spent on their own wellbeing. Thankfully, more businesses are appreciating how tough it can be for parents in their workforce and are supporting parents’ wellbeing at work. Here are a few examples:
Cisco – quick to reach nursery
Cisco has been supporting parents since 2015 thanks to an onsite nursery: Cisco Early Years at Bedfont Lakes in the UK. The nursery caters to children from the age three to five and provides a fantastic environment, which includes access to a large outdoor garden, mud kitchen, and parenting room.
The nursery is located only minutes away from Cisco’s office, so parents can feel at ease that their child is never too far away. Nursery staff pay home visits to get to know the children and to make the transition from home to nursery life easier. Parents are allowed to visit the nursery throughout the day to breastfeed or play with their child or children, and Cisco’s Salary Sacrifice Scheme reduces childcare costs for parents.
The introduction of the nursery has had a positive impact for the company too, with an increase in staff retention, recruitment and engagement. It was a major factor in Cisco being recognised in the UK Best workplaces in tech 2019 report, compiled by Great Place to Work.
The Cisco virtual tour explains more about the benefits the nursery offers for both the employees and their children. For example, its in-house program called My Happy Minds which focuses on developing the children’s self-esteem, confidence and resilience.
Deloitte Australia – Dads matter too
Deloitte Australia has a parental leave scheme which offers greater flexibility over how parents wish to manage time off work, after a birth or adoption, regardless of the parent’s gender. This provides greater support for fathers by allowing parents to share up to 18 weeks of paid leave to care for their child. Parents can choose how they want to split the 18 weeks, whether they want to take time off together or individually.
Currently there are few parental leave options available in Australia to fathers who wish to spend more time with their newborns. The National Paid Parental Scheme only provides partners with two weeks off at minimum wage, so policies allowing partners an extended period of paid leave can be immensely beneficial.
“The new approach will allow our people to pursue and develop their careers with flexibility and purpose. We’re encouraging them to take an active role in caring for their families while minimizing the financial impact of having a break for parental leave”
Richard Deutsch, CEO , Deloitte Australia.
Supporting parents’ wellbeing at work is recognised by Deloitte; it appreciates that extending paternity leave improves both the emotional and physical wellbeing of children and their fathers. It has actively supported parents with navigating a good work/life balance with more than 40% of dads now accessing the new policy.
In addition, Deloitte also offers paid time off to attend ante-natal or adoption appointments. For its continued support, Deloitte has topped the ‘20 Best Australian Workplaces for New Dads’ 2020 list.
Vodafone – providing a shoulder to lean on
Vodafone set up its Ready Parents & Carers network to create a better support structure for working parents and carers. The group was assembled in 2019 by employees who’d experienced struggles when juggling parenthood with their careers.
To help its 500+ members, the group offers practical help and wellbeing support no matter where parents are on their journey. This includes a buddy programme that provides 1:1 accessible support; webinars on parenting; and roadshow drop-in sessions to support employees with any current questions.
The network also recognises the continued role managers play in employee wellbeing and strives to ensure leaders are creating a culture of compassion and inclusivity within their teams. This is achieved through hosting seminars for managers on parental wellbeing, allowing managers to ask relevant questions and promoting new policies on parental care in the office.
The network is continually finding new ways to improve its services to support employees. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the company issued a survey so employees could offer constructive feedback, giving it ideas on how to tailor their programmes to suit its staff.
Here’s what Temi Ehimiage, a Commercial Specialist and mother had to say about her experience with Vodafone’s parenting network during the pandemic:
Sackers – giving Mums a helping hand
The law firm Sackers, based in London, won the 2016 Working Families Award for the benefits and support it offers to its parent employees. Its scheme focuses on providing the best maternity support for pregnant mothers.
Sackers offers resource packs to expectant mothers outlining key tips on health and nutrition during pregnancy. It contains information on giving birth, childcare options and childcare vouchers. In addition to the resource packs, the company has also set up an internal mentoring scheme, where expectant mothers are paired with women who have already experienced maternity leave to help them with their work-life balance.
Indicating that its scheme works, in the last five years all lawyers who have taken maternity leave have returned to work!
HR Director of Sackers, Debbie Holmes said:
“Ensuring we have the progressive policies and practices in place, as set out by the Top Employers Institute, means that we are supporting our people in all areas of their professional development whilst also recognising the importance of their well-being. This enables us to attract and retain the brightest and best lawyers in our industry and create a unique and collaborative culture which is unlike any other law firm.”
Supporting parents’ wellbeing at work can make a huge difference in their lives. A fantastic first step for many employers can be to simply understand their needs and wants before implementing any wellbeing initiatives. As we know, parents are an integral part of any company and giving them the resources and flexibility they require is essential to creating a healthy workplace culture. Try our ‘Wellbeing for Working Mums and Dads‘ webinar if you are looking to support parents more.