Family-friendly benefits boost productivity

Work Wisdom

Family-friendly benefits boost productivity

Family-friendly benefits are growing in the U.S. as businesses step up to support their employees and to attract a high-quality workforce.

In its Top 10 Benefits and Perks for Working Parents in 2018, Care@Work lists paid leave, onsite child care, lactation support and maternity concierge services among the trends in business today.

Common throughout Europe, paid family leave is a top request of employees today, but remains rare in the U.S. In January, New York became the fourth state to offer paid family leave. Washington state and the District of Columbia will offer paid leave in 2020.

“Although a few states have acted, businesses are no longer waiting for legislation in this area,” said Laurie Mitchell, assistant vice president of Global Health & Wellbeing at Unum. “Larger companies are offering paid parental leave as a key benefit to attract the best and brightest young workers today.”

Unum is adding paid parental leave to its benefits package this year, complementing other offerings to help new parents and young families.

“Companies like Unum recognize the value in simple things from private space for nursing mothers to reimbursement for breast-milk shipping expenses,” Mitchell said. “These services give professional women a little peace of mind at a time when juggling children and career can easily overwhelm them.”

It’s no surprise that companies frequently seen on “best places to work” lists are also those with progressive benefits for families and working parents. Working Mother magazine featured 20 Companies Leading the Charge and included familiar family-friendly businesses such as Google and Etsy, but also traditional companies including Bloomberg and Bank of America.

“These benefits are mission-critical for me to get my job done,” said Julia Bailin, director in Unum’s Client Management organization, and mom of two. “Benefits like these are no longer ‘perks’ for moms — they’re game-changing investments that clear the runway for working parents to thrive professionally — and meet their ambitious goals.”

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