Never mind 8-days-a-week, have you heard of the 9-day-fortnight? It’s a flexible solution to consider for employees who want a better balance between work and time with their new baby.
One of my Return to Work Parental Coaching clients told me how it worked for her recently.
Putting her baby daughter in a full-time nursery place seemed to be the only option when my client considered her return to work after maternity leave. But she and her husband were uneasy about that. They both worked long hours in a law firm and were realistic about how domestic ‘stuff’ would eat up precious time on Saturdays and Sundays.
They both wanted to plan precious, focused time with their baby.
Holidays put to use
So, she and her husband came up with a plan, using their joint accrued holiday to begin with.
They both take 2 days off a month, on alternate fortnights, so each can spend a full day their baby every other week. They both get extra time with their lovely daughter and see a cut in their child care costs.
They managed to sell the idea to their line managers: two planned Fridays off a month were easier to manage than (often emergency) half days here and there. Between them, they worked out a manageable plan.
Flexible working rights
A more formal route to a 9-day fortnight is via flexible working, open for all employees to request*. This approach is increasingly popular; employees are contracted to either a compressed working week, where they make up the hours on other days, or take a 10% cut in pay.
Benefits of a 9-day fortnight for returning parents…
- improve bonding and attachment with their baby
- feel relaxed and fulfilled having dedicated time with their baby
- spend more time with their baby without going ‘part-time’
- reduce child care costs until school starts
Benefits of a 9-day fortnight to employers…
- demonstrate you are an employer of choice
- tackle the gender gap by making it easier for female employees to return to work and progress
- plan employees’ child care needs, rather than react to ad hoc requests
- use it as an option to meet flexible working requests
And it can be a temporary mid-term solution for about 3 to 4 years until the child starts school.
* if they have been with the same employer for at least 26 weeks
Get in touch to find out how Confidence to Return can help your employees bounce back to work.
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