Paternity, maternity leave: How to handle it
July 23, 2013

Becoming a parent is one of the biggest joys of life. A couple suddenly finds themselves going down a completely different path - they're responsible for another human being now. Sure, it has it's challenges - late night wake up calls, being spit up on, changing diapers and plenty of other off-putting events. That being said, there are so many exciting moments - the first time bringing the baby home, that first giggle, initial steps and a whole slew of other fun things.

This is something that might be on the minds of many company owners, given the worldwide fervor over the new royal baby in the United Kingdom.

While everyone from family to friends to coworkers can share in the joy of birth, employers sometimes need to think more rationally about what this means. Often before and almost definitely after, mom and dad are going to need some time off to get things in order. What does this mean for an accounting practice?

There are certain tips that accounting firm owners and managers should be aware of when faced with employees leaving because of a new bundle of joy.

Keep the lines of communications up
You should never pester your workers when they're new parents, but don't ignore them for weeks either. Calling to check in and give well wishes after some time has passed is a good idea. This can also serve to update employees. It might be the last thing on their minds, but Shoosmiths reported that this way, they won't be anxious and completely out of the loop when they finally do come back to the office.

The source suggested asking workers how much contact should be made before they take their leave.

Think about dads too
In this modern age, it's not acceptable to just offer leave for moms. Dads are taking a more hands-on approach to their babies, so having a paternity plan is a necessity.

In many cases, time offered is shorter for dads than moms. For instance, Inc. Magazine said that Yahoo offers paid leave lasting up to 16 weeks for mothers, while giving eight for fathers. On the other hand, the news source said Facebook offers equal time - four months.

Be lenient
Even after mom and dad come back, they might be anxious to get back home and make sure everything's alright. Letting them skip out a bit early might be a good idea after the work is done. Not only can this make sure the business is efficient, but it can keep workers loyal and happy to know their employer is willing to go the extra mile. 

Nexus: G-WEBCD5