As technology continues to improve the world seems to be getting smaller. More and more businesses are becoming international; whether doing business with or employing folks in other countries. One of the practices that always jumps out to me when working with international companies is how they handle maternity leave.
One of my international partners recently had a baby girl. Had she lived in the U.S. she would have most likely been out a few weeks (maybe less) and chances are she would have used up all of her vacation time, and might have been lucky enough to have Short Term Disability Insurance to cover a percentage of her pay.
Luckily for her she does not live in the U.S. and received 4 months of 100% PAID Leave to enjoy with her new bundle of joy before returning to work. While 4 months of paid leave would be difficult for most businesses to afford, that doesn’t mean you can’t afford something. Any help would be better than none, and the return on this investment could be tremendous.
Here are 4 reasons that you should consider offering some sort of paid maternity leave, even if it is a percentage of pay for a short period of time.
- It’s the right thing to do. Having a baby (or babies!) is a wonderful thing, but it can also be very stressful. There might not be another life event that causes so much change in one moment. With all the wonderful things that come with having a child, there are also some challenges. One of the biggest challenges is affording time off to care for your new child(ren) and adjust to all the changes that come along. For a parent that is planning to return to work, any extra time they can spend at home is fantastic, and the reduction in stress about how to afford it can be incredible. Think about how much more engaged an employee will be after being given extra time with their new addition(s) and not needing to come back early for financial reasons.
- No one else is doing it. The battle for top talent is real, and businesses are finding it harder and harder to keep top talent from being recruited away. Adding a benefit like this would certainly help keep some of your best talent in place but may also help you recruit some amazing talent away from your competitors. Benefits are often cited as being more important than pay amount to employee happiness. Just imagine offering a benefit that almost no one else has and how powerful that could be.
- There will be great return on your investment. Sure it sounds expensive, and many companies are looking to reduce expenses, not add to them. If you take into to account the cost of turnover though, the math will quickly work in your favor. Recruiting is expensive. Training is costly. There are also soft costs associated with new employees in critical roles in your business. The savings to your business on recruiting and training coupled with the power of more engaged employees will have a larger positive impact on your bottom line than any short term costs for your paid maternity leave.
While it might sound like something unrealistic for your business, adding paid maternity leave could be the difference you need to separate yourself from everyone else and become a true employer of choice.
For more information on creating a paid maternity leave policy for your business, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at AskUs@genesishrsolutions.com or 800-367-8367.
Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.