05 Jul Mum’s the word: HR expert gives her advice on how to give the very best support possible to working families
WORKING parents are among the most highly skilled people within the UK’s workforce but often face an uphill struggle when it comes to juggling the demands of parenthood with the expectations of a career.
With the Chancellor of the Exchequer now tempting more parents – and particularly new mums – back to work to help boost the nation’s economy with the promise of more free childcare, businesses are being encouraged to review maternity packages and embrace flexible working to relieve some of the pressure on working families.
For Kate Coulson, Founder and Director of Ena HR & Training, who works with SMEs and businesses across Northamptonshire and the Midlands, finding ways to help businesses retain talent and encourage parents back to work after having a baby is a common discussion.
She recently worked alongside the team at The Mum Club, a community created for women with young children across the UK, helping them to give their staff the very best maternity benefits possible.
She said: “Working with The Mum Club to essentially rewrite their maternity policy has been a privilege.
“I worked with the team to change their standard policy to something which gave staff members a number of extra benefits including reasonable time off for IVF and fertility treatment, Keeping in Touch (KIT) days which are planned and actively encouraged, a phased return to work and a proper onboarding of new mums returning to work.
“All breast-feeding mothers will have a safe environment to express and store milk, along with flexible working to accommodate feeding and reasonable breaks to support breastfeeding. Flexible working is also guaranteed.
“Working parents are among the most highly-skilled employees in our work force, and sadly, some are deterred from coming back to work because of high costs of childcare and a lack of flexible working.
“I would always encourage businesses to listen carefully to their staff and – wherever possible – to support working families and retain that rich pool of talent.”
Jessica Lawes, co-founder of The Mum Club said: “As a start-up it is hard to provide an all singing, all dancing maternity package but we knew what we could offer was flexibility and support.
“We want our employees to enjoy the early stages of motherhood and when they feel ready to return to work, they can do so around the ever-changing family dynamics.
“As we grow, we would love to continually be able to support and improve our offering.”
For more information about Ena HR & Training and the range of services available visit www.ena-hr.co.uk.