How should you handle parental leave?

If your employee is going to have a child, it's important to have a plan in place.

If your employee is going to have a child, it's important to have a plan in place.

Having a child is a joyous, exciting time in a person's life. For their employer, however, it can be a headache without the proper preparation, especially if there is an extended leave involved. Every company would be well-advised to have an HR system implementation that not only clearly informs all staff members of their rights in these situations, but also streamlines the process and makes scheduling easy and efficient. 

Particularly for a small or medium-sized business, losing an employee for an extended period can be a tricky situation to navigate. How will you pick up the slack? Will it involve hiring new people on a temporary basis, or will the existing employees have to collectively shoulder the burden? Either way, the decision requires careful planning, and it's important to have a plan in place in advance. The worst time to have to figure out how you're going to deal with being understaffed is when you're already understaffed. 

There are also legal concerns to consider. Employees have very particular rights in these situations, and all parties need to be on the exact same page about what they are. Having a central portal where these documents are clearly visible is the best way to ensure that there are no unpleasant disputes about how long somebody is allowed to be on leave. 

In addition, having clearly defined parental benefits can enhance a company's culture. No employee wants to feel like having a child will cause them to lose their standing at work, so clearly stating guidelines can help allay their feeds and ensure them that their workplace is supportive of their decisions.