One of the greatest learnings for parents during the pandemic was to discover – having a job is not enough while raising a family. It’s vital to parents and children’s mental health to work at a place that accommodates and understands being a parent.
According to research, it is evident that parents who are supported by companies prove to be more beneficial to a company than people of a single demographic. But sometimes as parents we don’t know the full extent of benefits we should be accommodated for. Here are some ideas beyond the 401k:
1. Flexible And Remote Hours
Even before the pandemic, 94% of parents rated flexible hours as their number one priority. Thankfully, employers have started treading on the lines of flexible hours especially for working parents. The credit goes to our occasional zoom calls where our children would scream and pop up. Just kidding, if you plan to go and talk to your manager or current employer for flexible hours. Be sure to mention recent case studies and statistics that shows flexible hours not only keeps employees happy but also benefits it brings the business. In other words, this shows you are definitely not alone in seeking such accommodation from the company and its becoming the new norm.
2. Paid Parental Leave
Among the 41 OECD ( Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ) and European Union, the US is the only country that caters to paid parental leave. Even if the government doesn’t recognize it, businesses are stepping in to offer this perk to parents. In 2016 the number of paid paternal and maternal leave was 16% which has risen up to 21% in 2020. These statistics show that more and more businesses are becoming sensitive to parents. Further, policies like these tell you about the overall values a company holds and how the employees are treated.
3. College Savings Assistance
One of the biggest stressors for parents is how to save and pay for their kids’ college education. A 529 college savings plan is a government sponsored account for children. This account offers tax advantages to parents who set aside money in it to help pay for their kids’ college tuition. The sad part is only a third of US parents are looking for this. A payroll deduction to be matched by an employer with a 529 every month is a valuable financial addition to ask for in your contract. This will benefit parents as well as employees who plan to further their education. Not only would this differentiate your employer but is also easy to maintain and set up.
4. Childcare Stipend
It’s increasingly becoming the norm for companies to pay for childcare directly or offer child care stipends. This often comes in the form of vouchers which can be utilized at daycare centers or preschools. Ideally, this is a perk offered other than the yearly salary and no deduction is done. So many parents face the lack of affordable and accessible childcare. Some companies pay for childcare services as retainers to cater to emergency situations. Such as if your nanny doesn’t show up or you lose your daycare at the last moment. Remember to ask these questions in your interview as a parent.
Offering employees things beyond just the usual norm sends the message of “ the company has my back and it cares about me”. So many businesses often forget that employees are human beings and all of us come with different baggage. Dont forget to ask for benefits that will help you deliver your best work. One of the best times is when you have received an initial offer. Let us know what benefits help you thrive at work as a parent.