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parental involvement leave

Short-term paid leave that allows a parent to take an afternoon or a day off to attend a school performance or athletic event, volunteer at a child’s school or otherwise take care of a child’s needs.

benefit to employers

  • Improves productivity
     

  • Increases retention
     

  • Reduces complaints of discrimination towards employees with caregiving responsibilities
     

  • Improves workplace climate

benefit to families

  • Decreases stress
     

  • Increases engagement in children’s education

 

case study: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Parents appreciate designated paid time off to attend school functions

School events from parent-teacher conferences to special assemblies often take place during the typical workday. Most parents want to participate in and attend these school-related activities — but not all have the paid time off to make it happen. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis recognized this dilemma for its employees with school-age children or kids in daycare and designed a paid-time-off (PTO) benefit to address it.

 

By Minnesota’s School Conference and Activities Leave law, employers with one or more employees must provide up to 16 hours per year off to participate in children's educational activities. The employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the request, and the employee may use accrued vacation or other paid time off for the absence.

 

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis allocates 16 hours of PTO on top of an employee’s vacation or other PTO for parents or caregivers to attend a school function. Employees are asked to notify their supervisor in advance following standard PTO protocol, but there are times when last-minute notification is possible, depending on work obligations. The streamlined process makes it easier for parents to participate in their child’s school functions, as needed. 

 

Amy Brenengen, the bank’s Assistant Vice President, Human Resources & Inclusion, loved that her employer offered a benefit like this when her children were little.

 

“Having a benefit specifically designated to school involvement signaled to me that I work for a family-friendly company that cares about work-life balance,” said Brenengen. “I remember my third-grade son being very excited for “Paul Bunyan Day” at his school, and he really wanted me to attend – it was great that I could swing it, and we had a lot of fun. I cherish that memory!”

 

Brenengen said that while 16 hours might not be a lot of time, it is particularly helpful for employees with kids who do not have a lot of PTO. 

 

During the pandemic, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis expanded the benefit to include activities for family members beyond employees’ children. Brenengen said the gesture of the change was meaningful and appreciated, even if in the end people did not need to use it too often. 

Location:        Minneapolis, Minn.

Employees:    1,100
Industry:         Financial Services
Image by Nik Shuliahin

Sample Policy

This policy sample is ready to be tailored to your company’s needs and should be considered a starting point for setting up your employment policies.

 
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