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What are your best tips when letting an expecting parent know we will not be revising the parental leave policy for them (but we understand they think it’s not good enough)

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Can you offer flexible working arrangements post-birth in order to support the new parent? It’s weird how often I’ve had this conversation in the past few years. I work in tech, and a lot of my employees are expecting 6-12 mos. parental leave, like some FAANG companies grant. I wish I worked at places could do this, but it’s a hard lift for a small company.

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Just messaged you

Can you say that the company can't afford it at this moment?

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What can you do to ease the burden? Can they take additional time off, use their PTO in addition to paid family leave, etc? Have you actually revisited it and considered offering more?

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Be direct.

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What exactly are they wanting beyond what your company offers? Can you be creative and build out a plan to support his/her request (s) work from home for an additional x days? Return at a reduced work schedule for x amount of months? 4 days work schedule for x amount of months? Are you thinking with a solution focused mindset? I’d explore creative options before saying flat out no. With that said if the answer is no. You can say something like, we have reviewed our parental leave policy and it is in line with other parental leave policies with comparable companies. In addition to the x amount of weeks you are also entitled to 12 weeks under FMLA. Etc. the parent am also combine their vacation as well as explore other leaves of absence that your company offers. Good luck!

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Be direct yet gentle. Don’t make the response / approach to parental leave about “them”, but be understanding of their situation and offer other options, to the extent those are available. Demonstrate that you are willing to work something out within policy and get creative if you need.

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