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How can employers help mothers return to work?

June 14, 2013

• Only 1/3 of mums who have children under 3 return to work • 22% of young mothers are afraid they will lose their job or that they will not cope with their professional duties after a maternity leave How can the employer help mothers easily return to work and what to do in order to enable mother to be still close to the child after returning to work dutiesminimize stress connected with separation with a child and professional duties? Advise by Eyal Litwin, Adgar Country Manager in Poland and Ewa PaluchMaria Januszewska-Cijka, Director of Pomarańczowa Ciuchcia kindergarten in Adgar office complex.

Return to work of a mother who has recently given birth to a child is very often connected with a stress. It is caused not only by the separation with a child but also the fact that a mother very often has to face new duties, learn new things  or adjust to changes which were implemented when she was not present in the company. What can the employer do in order to help women reconcile being an employee with being a mother? How to enable them to find themselves in a new role after the maternity leave?

 

Project-based time keeping and part-time job

Mothers who had a full time job before giving birth, can think about changing their working arrangements after returning from the maternity leave, for example for a “task” work time. This will help to avoid everyday presence in the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., because the mother will be expected to complete agreed tasks and not to be present at the office during working hours. At the same time it will enable the mother spending more time with her child what will make her satisfied and increase efficiency. Part time job can also be a good idea just after returning from maternity leave. It enables gentle return to work duties and gradual extending the time of separation with the child.

 

Home office

Another possibility is the so-called home office. This is an option for mothers who cannot or don’t want to leave their child for some reason or there is no one else who could take care of the child. One needs to remember that in such case the mother should show self-discipline and be strongly motivated in order to focus on work in front of a computer while being at home with the child. After agreeing on such terms of co-operation, the employer should ensure that the mother has appropriate equipment for work, like a laptop with network connection.

 

Flexible working hours

Employers very often agree on flexible working hours for mothers, so that they do not have to be at work in the set time frame like 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Working hours can be changed so that it is easier for the mother to take care of the child. Thanks to this solution, a mother coming to work an hour earlier is able to leave the office early enough to pick up her child from the kindergarten or a crèche before closing or to replace a grandmother or a babysitter.

 

Kindergarten in the office building

There are office buildings which are located very close to a kindergarten or even in which a kindergarten is arranged. Thanks to this, the separation with a child will be shorter than when one has to drive a child to the kindergarten which is not always near home. Additionally, when a mother knows that her child is under the best care close to her, she feels comfortable and can focus on her work duties. The employer can also offer coverage of kindergarten costs within the work benefits. This can be beneficial solution in terms of tax aspects.

 

„The parents, who work near our kindergarten or even in the same building value a lot its proximity, mainly because of the saving time of driving between work and kindergarten in the mornings and in the afternoons. The parent has also the possibility of visiting the child during the day in the kindergarten. It is also easier for them to leave their office for one hour in order to come to the kindergarten for example for a play on the Mother’s Day, in which their child takes part” – sais Maria Januszewska-Cijka, the Director of Pomarańczowa Ciuchcia kindergarten in Warsaw Mokotów business district.