Parental leave and time off for dependants
Promoting family-friendly working
Promoting a family friendly working environment can lead to a number of business benefits including:
- increased productivity
- reduced absenteeism
- attracting new staff
- retention of current staff
Communicating family friendly policies
It's a good idea to set out in writing, eg in a staff handbook, the:
- statutory family-friendly rights to which employees are entitled
- enhancements to those rights, if any, that exist, and whether they are contractual or discretionary - you should exercise caution in using discretion to avoid complaints of discrimination
- procedures they need to follow if they wish to take up these rights
These rights should - at the very least - include rights in relation to:
- shared parental leave and pay
- maternity leave and pay
- paternity leave and pay
- adoption leave and pay
- parental leave entitlement
- time off to deal with emergencies involving dependants
- flexible working: the law and best practice
Allowing flexibility in your procedures
You should try to build some flexibility into your procedures to allow your employees the time they need to deal with their childcare responsibilities.
The charity Working Families has more help and advice on helping employees achieve a work-life balance: advice for employers on good working practices.
Providing childcare provision
You may want to consider offering employees some form of childcare provision. This sort of employee benefit can improve:
- staff morale
- recruitment and retention
- the availability of employees
You can help with childcare in a number of ways, eg by:
- Making staff aware of tax-free childcare where parents can get up to £500 every three months (£2,000 a year) for each child to help with the costs of childcare. Parents of a child with a disability can get up to £1,000 every three months (£4,000 a year).
- Providing on-site childcare, ie a workplace nursery.
- Offering childcare allowances - cash payments to allow employees to buy childcare services through a nursery or childminder.
Expenses and benefits: childcare - guidance from HM Revenue & Customs.
LRA Workplace Information Service03300 555 300