You receive the great news, you are going to have a baby! You are excited and thrilled and are celebrating with your family. Then….the fear sets in! You start asking yourself, how am I going to afford a baby, how am I going to miss work, what are they going to say, am I going to lose my position within the company that I worked so hard for? These are all common fears that go through a parent’s mind as they think about how they are going to juggle their new bundle of joy and their work.
This is the journey that I recently went though and I am excited to say, I survived. Not only did I survive, I enjoy Every. Single. Minute! I survived the first several months of crying baby (sometimes crying mommy), dirty diapers, sleepless nights and adorable milestones such as first sneeze, first adorable outfit, first time noticing another baby, first smile and recently, first hug. My heart is melting just thinking about it!
InfoTrust – Good for Families,
Good for Business!
The reason that I was able to enjoy the first several months to fullest is because I had the support of my employer, InfoTrust. InfoTrust allows an employee to take 12 weeks off (paid), followed by 12 weeks at a reduced work schedule (also paid at normal salary). This is 6 months of coverage!
I was part of the discussions about InfoTrust’s parental leave policy in 2017. I told our CEO, Alex, that I felt 8-12 weeks was more than fair leave. Alex responded that he wanted to offer employees more. As a parent himself, he knows the first few months with your baby are so precious. Alex came back with our current parental leave policy, and I was one of the first employees to be able to take advantage of its benefits!
I am happy to say that Josephine Elizabeth is 5 months old now and I am currently writing this while she is napping in the other room. With the parental leave I have taken 2 days a week to be at home, filling my days with very little work and lots of play. It is such an amazing thing to know that all my fears were for not, and that InfoTrust took care of me so that I could enjoy this time with my growing family.
How Employers can Support
The following are things I believe that every employee about to become a parent should expect from their employer:
- Becoming a parent is a big and exciting deal, so there should be no other initial emotion from an employer but excitement.
- All employers should be flexible with their employee to try to figure out the best arrangement for the employee. Are they hoping to work up until the day they deliver? Are they wanting to take a week off before the arrival to get things in order? Is it easier for them to go to doctors appointments in the afternoons so their partner can join them?
- InfoTrust offers the parental leave policy to parents regardless of gender of the employee or no matter if the child is adopted or born to that parent. This is just fair and should be expected.
- A reasonable amount of paid leave
- Under FMLA we are all guaranteed time with our family. However, this does not guarantee paid leave. An employer should be working with their employee to elevate any financial burden that they can. Having a baby is expensive. Any leave that an employer awards an employee will be a valuable investment in your company because, believe me, the employee will need that job more than ever now that they have a little one to pay for!
- Open Communication
- It should be expected that an employee can let their employer know if their changing families needs are, or are not being met. There needs to be open communication throughout the process. As the employee eases their way back into work, the employer should allow for continuous feedback from the employee (this should always be true, no matter if an employee is expecting/had a baby)
Regardless of gender or desire to grow your family, I encourage everyone to have discussions on parental leave with their employer. Not only does this open the door to candid communication on a variety of subjects, but you’ll also be doing a service to both the company and your co-workers by assisting in the development of progressive policies. In the world of business, we call that a win-win!
Interested in joining InfoTrust, a company that appreciates its employees and offers great benefits, including paid paternity leave? Check out our current job opportunities!