One of the biggest benefits employees are looking for when they join a company is not stock in the company—it’s flexibility for parents to be parents. Maternity and paternity leave policies are crucial to retaining top talent these days, but there’s one thing you can do that will set you apart from all the other companies—support breastfeeding mothers.
Breastfeeding upon returning to work can be stressful. There are laws in place that protect the rights of the breastfeeding mother to pump at work, but asking to exercise these rights can be enough of a turn-off that women would rather opt out altogether. Currently in the United States employers must provide reasonable break time to pump during work hours as well as a space with a locking door, electricity, and refrigeration other than a bathroom for pumping women to use. Additional laws are in the books in certain states.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, “There is no federal mandate for paid maternity leave and only a few states currently offer paid leave. However, many workplaces are noticing the benefit of offering paid family leave, and go above and beyond what the laws require. Establishing an adequate milk supply typically takes a minimum of four to six weeks. Therefore, providing six weeks of paid leave could be a great benefit to nursing mothers and supporting fathers. Some workplaces offer six months to a year of protected paid leave, which is not uncommon in other countries. Offering paid leave is a great way to recruit and retain quality employees.”
If you want to be sure your top talent will come back to your company after their maternity leave is over, make it known on employee intake that supporting breastfeeding mothers is a top priority in your company. Dedicate a space if you have it so that women know they will be supported. Employees who feel like they are part of a team that supports them are considerably more likely to stick around and contribute to the team.
It’s worth noting that the federal laws do not apply to businesses with fewer than 50 employees, but it is just those companies that stand to lose the most when employee turnover is high and job satisfaction is low. Keeping the employees you have already trained on the job happy and engaged is what’s best for your company’s bottom line. Learn more about breastfeeding mothers’ rights in the workplace from this infographic!
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You Have The Right To Breastfeed Your Baby