Phased Return to Work: An Emerging Trend for New Parents?

The transition from caring for a baby 24 hours a day to being a full-time employee isn’t always an easy one. One minute it’s all feeding schedules and baby snuggles—and the next it’s morning commutes, project deadlines and an e-mail inbox reminding you of what you missed while you were out.

As a parent who’s made two of these transitions in recent years, an announcement from PwC announcing a phased return-to-work program for new parents caught my attention.

Phased Return to Work: An Emerging Trend for New Parents?

Starting July 1, 2018, PwC is increasing its paid parental leave to eight weeks for both mothers and fathers and is offering a phased return to work option for parents immediately following paid parental leave. The program will allow new parents to work 60% of their normal schedule at 100% of their pay for four weeks after returning to work.

37th Annual ISCEBS Employee Benefits SymposiumPwC says the phased return-to-work program is the first of its kind and that it has put the program in place to help support its employees in innovative ways.

Related: Family-Friendly Benefits—How Do You Measure Up?

The PWC program joins a growing number of ways that employers are increasing their family-friendly benefits. Organizations, especially large ones, have been announcing increased parental leave policies as well as additional benefits that support things like fertility treatments, adoption or surrogacy.

A phased return-to-work program could be beneficial to new parents by giving them another option to consider based on what works best for themselves and their family. The program could also be a win for organizations looking to retain talent, since the first few months after a new parent returns to work can be a critical time for retention.

Only time will tell if phased return-to-work programs gain steam among other organizations, but with the race to recruit and retain top talent, it’s likely employers will continue ramping up and broadening their benefits around parental leave.

Brenda Hofmann
Communications Manager at the International Foundation