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25 Nov 2022

Are your childcare benefits up to scratch in the war for talent?

Research shows that benefits such as parental leave are a popular attraction even among employees who don’t yet have children

Are your childcare benefits up to scratch in the war for talent?.jpg 1


There have been many stresses on families in recent years. First, there was the Covic-19 pandemic and now it is the cost of living crisis. These strains can be further exacerbated if employees are working from home with young children running around or with a baby screaming.

Employees are looking for employers that offer good benefits.

According to research by Vodafone, a quarter of 18-34-year-olds cited a lack of support for parents as a reason why they didn’t apply for a particular job and one in five quit their job due to poor parental leave policies.

Parental leave = good employer

To add to this, the research also found that more than half of the people surveyed said parental leave policies are an indication of a good employer, regardless if they were going to be parents.

Research by Bright Horizons seems to confirm Vodafone’s findings, with three-quarters of people surveyed saying they would carefully consider accepting a job depending on childcare benefits offered.

They also found that two-thirds of participants would like job flexibility and more support for family life, which Bright Horizons say plays a “decisive role in talent retention and attraction”.

So what can employers do to address the issue of parental leave and childcare?

A generous benefits and total rewards package is essential

If employers want to attract and retain talent and handle parental leave efficiently, offering a good benefits and total rewards package is key. One way to do this is by using a platform or app, which can group all health and wellness benefits in one place, but this is just one aspect of supporting new parents.

UNICEF is campaigning for businesses to offer or support sufficient paid leave, affordable childcare, child benefits and breastfeeding. They say that many businesses in many countries are seeing an increase in staff retention, less absenteeism and lower recruitment costs when they offer family friendly policies and workplaces.

Some of this support comes in the form of women returning to work after childbirth and support for men who are sharing parenting responsibilities.

Every country has different statutory benefits for parental leave, which could be as low as none in the USA, compared with 84 weeks in Estonia. However, businesses can choose benefits that will suit and support their employees that could be in line with what UNICEF highlights.

Also, family benefits aren’t solely aimed at people who have children. There is a growing need for fertility treatment benefits for those who want to start a family. One employer in the US provided a $10,000 fertility benefit, and department story Walmart also recently rolled out a fertility programme.

Added to this, there’s growing support for adoption benefit. In a recent article for Employee Benefit News, Rita Soronen, president and chief executive of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption said: “All kinds of adoption should be eligible for benefits … so that there is time for the family to bond without it being a penalty to the family…”

Let employees know it’s there

Communicating benefits is important when it an employer has chosen what they consider important to employees. Employees will probably stay with an employer who offers benefits longer than one that doesn’t, and benefits that cover other family members rather than just the employee will also be valued.

The types of benefits that could be considered can range from something simple like flexible working hours where employees can navigate around school hours and events, for example, or there could be other benefits like home cleaning (which creates more time for families to be together) or insurances.

Once employees, prospective or present, know about the family benefits on offer, companies will find that they are able to attract and retain talent more easily.

In partnership with Benify

Benify offers the market's leading global benefits and total reward platform.

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