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accommodations & support

Woman at Work

return to work

Giving mothers flexible options for returning to work, such as teleworking, PT work, extended paid parental leave, and providing on-site or near-site child care.

benefit to employers

  • Increases productivity

  • Increases teamwork and collaboration

  • Improves morale

  • Increases retention, reducing turnover costs

  • Lowers health care costs from increased breastfeeding rates

benefit to families

  • Benefits to Families

  • Increases happiness and job satisfaction

  • Increases retention

  • Reduces stress

  • Improves work/life balance

 

case study: Blue Cross
Blue Shield of Minnesota

Helping employees return to work after parental leave

Learning to navigate working parenthood in the early months and years of a baby’s life can be challenging. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota wants its employees to have strong support both because they care about their employees, but also to boost retention and satisfaction.

 

“When a new parent is returning to work, we offer great flexibility in their schedule,”  said Benefits Manager Heidi Kent-Mack. “We encourage managers to ease employees back in and allow them to return however they’re most comfortable.”

 

According to Kent-Mack, a key component of managing the return-to-work process is a comprehensive checklist. When associates are preparing for leave, they meet with a member of the HR team to walk through the process of creating a checklist that will include everything from timekeeping to ancillary support benefits. The checklist reminds people of available benefits that might not have been relevant when they started. (See “Resources” below.)

 

Some of these benefits or resources include:

  • Premium membership to Care.com: All associates can access Care.com, whether to care for a child or an aging parent. Care.com also has childcare support specialists to help people find childcare that meets their needs.
     

  • Mindful Return partnership: Blue Cross offers Mindful Return online programs at no cost to interested employees. The programs focus on creating a mindful mindset for returning to work, managing logistics, growing leadership skills as a new parent and building communities of other working parents. There are targeted programs for moms, dads, parents of children with special needs and more.
     

  • Caregiver Associate Resource Group: The group creates a support network for employees and shares concerns and recommendations with Kent-Mack. During COVID, the group gained momentum and has been critical to identifying additional support, including more paid time off. Today, Blue Cross has six weeks paid maternity leave and two weeks of paternity leave, covered at 100 percent of the associate’s salary.

 

As a health insurance company, Blue Cross knows how important those early years are and offers programs that make a difference for parents and young children.

Location:        Eagan, Minn.

Employees:    3,500
Industry:         Healthcare
Newborn Baby

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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