Ways to Support New Parents Returning to Work

When new parents go back to work, businesses can do a lot to help them. It’s not just good for the parents, but it also benefits the employers!

Right now, many businesses are competing to find good workers, and being family-friendly with flexible work options makes a company considerably more attractive.

Supporting Parents in the Workplace

What Parents Want When Returning to Work:

Parents want a good balance between work and life. Flexibility and support are crucial to keeping them happy!

Some parents feel stressed about managing work and being a parent, and if businesses don’t help parents during this time, they might lose valuable employees.

Why Support for Parental Leave is Important:

Helping parents return to work is not just a nice thing to do; it’s a smart thing.

If companies don’t support parents, they might lose them. Work-life balance is a big reason why people change jobs, and many parents think about leaving their jobs in the first year after coming back from parental leave because it’s challenging to balance both work, and caring for their kids.

Managing Workforce Capacity:

Not every business can easily manage reduced hours, so consider options like job share arrangements, allowing staff to swap days or hours, or bringing in temporary employees for added flexibility.

Practical Ways to Support Parents

Parental Leave Coaching
If possible, get external advice to help parents transition back to work emotionally and practically. If coaching isn’t an option, ensure consistent leadership to provide ongoing support.
Make sure employees and managers know about the resources and support available to them. Keep policies updated, communicate them well, and have a process in place from the moment a staff member requests parental leave.
Encourage both parents to take leave and provide coaching, especially for dads, who can often become overlooked in these situations.
Be ready to support employees in case of struggles such as early delivery, miscarriages, still births, and mental health concerns.
If you can, provide the option of clean and private areas with comfortable chairs, fridges, sinks/wash basins, etc., for breastfeeding moms.
It can boost staff retention, reduce costs, and improve morale.

Encouraging parents to take the leave they need and providing practical support upon their return is good for both employees and businesses. Clear policies, external advice, and being transparent about available support all play a crucial role.

Here are some additional resources on supporting new and returning parents!

Indeed is a job seeker’s website with job postings from across the world. Their article is parent-focused; they provide 8 different ways that parents can ease their way back into work after having a new baby.

LinkedIn is a social media platform that is business and employment-focused. One of the authors on the site provides us with an article that is detailed, (and humorous), with a total of 9 different tips for employers supporting parents who are returning to work.

Human Resource Executive is an agency focused on providing support, resources, news, strategies, etc.,  to HR professionals. Their article focuses on 6 different ways that employers can make their staff feel welcomed and supported when they return to work.

CareerWise is a Canadian agency that helps people working in career development stay up to date on the top news and trends; they also offer a curated selection of articles on education, skills, counselling, employment, etc. CareerWise’s article summarizes what it can look like for parents returning to work who have taken a break from their careers, and offers a wide variety of resources for parents (and employers) to access.