- PwC has announced that it will begin offering employees a phased return to work following parental leave.
- According to the company, workers expressed a desire for such a benefit. "While our new parents value the time off to care for their newborns, they have told us they need extra help phasing back into work when it’s over," PwC said in a statement.
- Employees will now be permitted to work 60% of their normal schedule at 100% of their pay for four weeks after returning to work. The company also said that it is increasing its paid parental leave from six weeks to eight weeks; the leave will be offered to both mothers and fathers.
Employers struggling with high turnover or other engagement issues may find that their employees are willing to speak up about what they want. PwC has done this before, surveying workers after its retention rate for millennials proved problematic. The resulting report concluded that “millennials want more flexibility, the opportunity to shift hours — to start their work days later, for example, or put in time at night, if necessary. But so do non-millennials, in equal numbers.” PwC listened, and employees now have improved flexibility.
Paid family leave specifically is an invaluable benefit for working parents. Companies are increasingly offering it — even retailers seeking to compete for applicants, engage hourly workers and reduce turnover. And as employees begin to allege that separate bonding leaves for mothers and fathers amount to sex discrimination, more are offering equal time off as well.
And as for PwC's phase-in benefit, it may well be just as "innovative" as the company says; it's not a completely new idea, but the offering isn't widely used and certainly may help ease the transition back into the workplace for new parents.