London, 11 October 2021: The pandemic has seen wellbeing move up the agenda for both employers and employees and new research from Bright Horizons shows a parental leave programme is a critical way companies can demonstrate their commitment to wellbeing.
Unless the process is managed intentionally, the parental leave transition often marks a watershed moment when it can be more likely for careers to derail, resulting in widening – rather than reducing - gender pay gaps.
However, 88% of respondents said that having a parental leave programme in place helps working parents keep their career on track. And nearly 8 in 10 (79%) agreed that having a parental leave programme gave them confidence in taking parental leave.
The Bright Horizons Parental Leave Toolkit includes functionality where leave-takers receive personalised weekly notifications providing timely support throughout the preparation for handover, leave and return simply by entering their dates and key areas of focus.
An employee in the financial services sector said: “By having access to Parental Leave Toolkit I felt supported by [my employer]. After having coaching, the resources over the coming months were supportive. Weekly Bundle reminders are also just right for giving me the right information, when I need it."
Coaching is often combined with the Parental Leave Toolkit for many Bright Horizons clients, helping to further assist the workforce when they go through Parental Leave. A respondent from the legal sector, commenting in the survey, said: “I received extremely helpful tips and guidance around managing the transition to and back from leave, which made the process much more successful. In particular my coach challenged my assumption that I should leave return planning until I was back in the office, and she was completely right.”
Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Thought Leadership at Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions, said: “We know from our client feedback that a good parental leave programme enhances talent retention. Our clients typically see a 12 to 14 percentage point uplift in the number of leave takers returning to their business and this represents considerable cost-savings as well as an enhanced employee experience.
“This research shows that a parental leave offering which combines an online or app-based programme with expert coaching and advice provided in-person or virtually, achieves key personal and professional objectives for both the individual and the employer.
Download the full Bright Horizons Parental Leave Toolkit & Coaching Impact survey report here.