Updated: Sep 7
Although many employers are delaying their fall plans to welcome employees back to the workplace due to the COVID-19 Delta variant, the timing is good for completing a review of your programs, benefits and policies as it relates to new parents in your workforce. One silver lining of the terrible pandemic we’ve lived through over the past year and a half is that more companies are increasing their support of parents with more family-friendly organizational initiatives. Things like flexible work schedules, paid leave, and investment in dedicated lactation spaces are all shining examples of how companies are making work a little easier on parents. To help you prepare, we wanted to remind you of a number of free resources and tools you can use to evaluate and update your own workplace!
Corporate Evaluation Checklist
If your organization is ready to expand support for working, pumping moms, we recommend you evaluate your current environment and the needs of your employees. We’ve put together this How to Conduct a Corporate Evaluation checklist to help guide you through the process.
Survey Your Employees
If you’re not sure what benefits your employees need most, the easiest way to find out is to ask them! We’ve made it easy for you to do so with a pre-written Workplace Lactation Support survey template (available in MS Word, PDF or Google Doc formats). Go to our Resource Center and download the Employee Survey Template you would like to use.
Review Your Current Lactation Accommodation policy
A Lactation Accommodation Policy clarifies expectations across an organization, demonstrates legal compliance and celebrates support for working families. If you already have a policy in place, you’ll want to review and adjust as necessary to reflect any post-COVID changes. If you don’t have a policy yet, check out this blog by our partners at Mamava on How to Write a Lactation Accommodation Policy. This article also includes links to sample policies you can review as you get started.
Update Your Lactation Space
When you’re ready to develop or improve your workplace Lactation Space, use our handy guide to help you create an ideal pumping room in your workplace. If you already have a great pumping space, consider whether these recommended post-COVID adaptations may be needed. And if you provide a Symphony multi-user breast pump, download our Symphony cleaning guide to ensure the pump is regularly cleaned and sanitized!
Determine “Reasonable Break Time”
According to the 2010 federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers law, employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are required to provide “reasonable break time” for an employee to express breast milk for one year after a child’s birth. So, how are organizations determining what “reasonable” is? The time needed for a parent to express breast milk will vary by company depending on size of the building(s) and the employee’s job responsibility. We created a practical “calculator” resource that will help you walk through the steps a typical employee may take when heading to your lactation space for a pumping break.
Train Your Managers to Better Support Employees
Women who return to work after the birth of a child need unique support. Anyone with HR or supervisory responsibilities for another employee should be familiar with the company’s parental benefits and breastfeeding policies, and be prepared to answer questions their employees may have. We created this Manager Training Guide to help HR leaders prepare managers with common topics that often arise when new parents return to work.
If you need help determining which step to take first, feel free to contact us and we will support you as you develop your parent-friendly workplace!