They say it takes a village to raise a baby, but what happens when mom and dad have to leave the village and return to work? Making the transition from “new parents” to “new parents who also have to work a full-time jobs” is no easy feat, and many new parents find it so difficult and costly that one chooses to put their career on hold to be the primary caregiver instead. Wouldn’t it be nice if companies offered perks that helped make the transition for working parents a tad bit easier? Believe it or not, some companies do. Here is a list of the five incredible perks for working parents and the companies that so graciously offer them.
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1. Breast Milk Shipping Service
One of the newest perks to hit the working-mother incentive scene is breast-milk shipping services, which allow breastfeeding mothers ship their breast milk back home for free while traveling for business. This may seem outlandish for people who are unfamiliar with breastfeeding, but having the ability to ship your “liquid gold” (as breastfeeding mothers call it) back home for your newborn is invaluable. Milk Stork, a new startup launched in August, provides “milk-shipping supplies – including breast milk storage bags and postage-paid, pre-addressed, pharmaceutical-grade shipping coolers” for every day a breastfeeding mother is away on a business trip, according to Fortune. The necessary milk-shipping supplies are ready at the mother’s destination when she arrives, and the shipment is sent overnight to the mother’s home. The service is a bit expensive at $99 per day, but it far outweighs the cost and anguish of a breast-pumping mother forced to “pump and dump” while traveling for business.
2. On-Site Childcare
Childcare is one of the most expensive aspects of going back to work, and it’s also one of the key influencers when parents are weighing the cost of childcare versus collecting a paycheck. Having on-site childcare is extremely beneficial for working parents because not only are the kids in close proximity, the employer typically offers an affordable subsidized rate that is appealing to new parents. On-site affordable childcare would help working parents make a seamless and less stressed transition back to work, without having to sacrifice their careers or finances.
3. Lengthy Paid Maternity Leave
Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), qualified employees are granted (and I use that term lightly) 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for “the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth,” as stated on the United States Department of Labor’s FMLA page. In case you’re wondering, no, that’s not a great deal for new parents who are struggling with the transition of having a new baby, on top of not earning a paycheck during these 12 weeks off. What’s worse, the United States is the only country, other than Papua New Guinea, to not offer or require paid maternity leave. It’s understandable, then, why having a sufficient amount of paid time off is one of the most important and desirable perks a new parent could ask for.
4. Private Concierge Services
How amazing would it be to have an employer that offered concierge services to help take care of everyday errands? More companies are starting to see the benefits of helping employees check some to-dos off of their list while they’re still on the clock. Red Butler, a virtual concierge service, teams up with companies to offer virtual assistant services to employees to help them take care of simple, yet tedious tasks like booking travel arrangements, email management, scheduling doctor’s appointments, and more. For new parents returning to work, this service would be immensely helpful and allow them to focus on bonding with their new baby/babies, rather than trying to find the time to run errands between diaper changes and feedings.
Companies that offer this perk: Beats by Dre, Hulu, TED, and Mastercard
5. “Baby Cash”
What if you were given $4,000 from your employer every time you popped out a baby? Well, for Facebook employees, that dream is a reality. Not only does Facebook offer 17 weeks of paid leave for all new parents and subsidized childcare, but the company also generously forks over $4,000 to new parents, otherwise known as “baby cash.” This is a great incentive for new parents, and it also encourages more women to pursue and maintain careers in male-dominant industries, like tech.
On top of these incredible perks, new parents also value paid healthcare with dental and flexible schedules, because babies and toddlers tend to get sick quite often and quite unexpectedly. Making the transition back to work post-baby would be so much simpler and less stressful if more companies would offer employees the types of perks that make it easier to juggle a career and a family, thus increase well-being. In the end, happy people make happy employees, and happy employees make for profitable and efficient business.
Tell Us What You Think
If you were given the option of choosing any perk, what would you choose and why? Join the conversation happening over on Twitter, or leave your thoughts below in the comments section. We’d love to hear what you have to say!