Employer Supports for Pandemic Parenting

Courtney Ellis
Courtney Ellis Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

My organization has been quite gracious and extremely flexible with scheduling and extra "coworkers" popping into meetings as many parents abruptly found themselves without childcare. Our HR team is asking "what more can we do to support working parents?". Are there any programs you have in place to support the needs of parents at this time? We've considered ideas about resource libraries, virtual met ups for parents of children in like age groups, and engaging employees who had previous careers in education.

What are your companies doing to support this demographic?

Best Answers

  • Alexander Ziegler
    Alexander Ziegler Founding Member | Expert ✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    We had in Germany some few years ago a 3 or 4 months long closure of all childcare due to a fight between the government and the workers, resulting in closures of 100% for long months. It was a horrible experience, and I have seen friends being fired as they did appear to late (or not) to work. I think the flexible and great companies not firing their people had only one workaround: give people flexibility - and ideally let them work from home. We learned that some jobs are limited to be done from home, but working from home and offering understanding and flexibility was the only solution. IBM put out the "Pledge for working from home" now in times of COVID19. I already posted it at another place, but it really fits: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/i-pledge-support-my-fellow-ibmers-working-from-home-during-krishna/

    It is summarizing the pain points - and reminds to be flexible. It is not a real solution, but I have to say after having seen the situation in Germany as described above this is the best I personally have seen. I'm curious if somebody else has additional ideas.


  • Andréanne Young
    Andréanne Young Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

    One of the very tangible things that my company did on that front was to grant a $150 CAD/USD/EUR/GBP weekly catering services allowance to parents of kids who no longer had access to childcare, in order to take the burden of cooking for the family off their shoulders (and support local economy). This ''Covid Measure'' was established early on, and was put in place following the first survey HR had sent us which made them realize that most of the employees who had a harder time adapting to the new reality had one point in common: children under 12 at home. This measure obviously was not necessary as we already are quite fortunate to be in the situation we are, and it only applies to a subset of employees, nevertheless, I think the gesture created a wave of appreciation and pride of our employer amongst all employees.

    They also created a #covid19parenting Slack channel where parents share their tips and tricks, and their funny stories. The best practices and most relevant resources were gathered in a page titled "Strategies for Working with Kids at Home'' in our COVID-19 FAQ page on our intranet.

    We also adapted the statuses we can pick from in Slack to reflect our new reality and easily let our colleagues know if we are not going to be available at typical hours.

    Hope this helps! :)