Developing Family-Friendly Policies and Procedures

In response to tight labor markets and millennials entering the workforce, employers have introduced some out-of-the box solutions to help employees respond to the competing demands of work and home.

Examples of creative human-resource-driven cost reimbursements include nannies who accompany employees with infants while traveling on business trips and summer day camp for older children.

 For parents, flexibility is important - child care drop-off and pick-up hours are non-negotiable.  
For employers, flexible, ad hoc schedules may not be possible.
   Flex-Time policies provide predictable and consistent schedules for all employees.

Common Family-Friendly Business Policies and Practices

Flex-Time Options

  • Compressed Time: Full-time work with more hours per day and fewer days per week.
  • Flexible Scheduling: Employees work a defined number of hours per day/week with arrival and departure times adjusted around “core business hours” and child care "drop-off and pick-up" times.
  • Telecommuting: Employees work from home one or more days a week.
  • Part-time Options: Part-day, part-week, part-month, or part-year responsibilities with prorated pay and benefits.
  • Job Sharing: Two or more people share one full-time position with clearly defined responsibilities.


Leave Policies

  • Vacation:  Employees receive a defined number of paid vacation days and may use them in half-day increments.
  • Sick Leave: Employees receive a defined number of paid sick days and may use them in half day increments for self-care and to care for a sick family member.
  • Personal Leave: Allows a specified number of days off (with or without pay) for short-term emergencies and other personal business.
  • Extended Family Leave: Time off for the birth or adoption of a child and to care for a family member with serious health issues. Family leave time may be paid or unpaid with a guarantee of the same or equivalent job upon return to work.
  • Paid Time Off (PTO): In lieu of specifically identified leave categories, a defined number of PTO days per year are granted for vacation, sick leave or personal leave.


  • Flexible Spending Accounts: Tax-deferred savings accounts established by the employer to help the employee pay for certain medical expenses, group life insurance and dependent-care expenses.
  • Dependent Care Assistance Plan: Tax-deferred funds set aside from an employee's gross salary through a payroll deduction.  The set-aside funds are used to provide reimbursement for qualified child care expenses.
  • Backup Child Care:  Employers contract with independent organizations to provide choices for short-term care of employees’ children when regular care arrangements fall through.  For example, the child care provider is sick or the school has an unexpected closing.
  • Subsidized Child Care: A child care allowance or subsidy that families can use toward a child care arrangement of their choice. A common approach is to provide child care scholarships or negotiate discounts with child care providers as part.

  • Management Policies:  Blend policies and practices to build trust, understanding and appreciation for all employees when equal, but different, employee-friendly options are selected to manage work and personal life.
  • Team meetings and trainings:  Set days and times that don't conflict with school and child care drop-off and pick-up times.
  • Parent Networking Groups:  Launch a workplace peer-to-peer parent-employee group with access to resources.