On Mother’s Day, as is customary, a lot of us will have shown our appreciation for the women in their lives with flowers, chocolates and cards.

Employers though, can give a gift to working mums that goes a little deeper; by making sure that they’re treated equally in the workplace, and that a woman’s decision to start a family doesn’t have to mean game over for her career.

It’s 2017, so you might think that we’re past the stage where these kinds of things are still burning issues. But the statistics speak for themselves; according to the World Economic Forum, it could take another 170 years to eliminate the gender pay gap. And the fact that women are still more likely to take on childcare responsibilities can have a huge impact on their ability to pursue opportunities.

So here’s our advice to help make sure you’re giving busy working mums the support they need:

Ensure You’re Embracing Legislation

Legislation exists to ensure that employers are fulfilling their legal responsibilities, and there have been several developments in recent years designed to support working mums. For example, shared parental leave is something that all workplaces should be carefully considering.

Employment law can seem complicated and overwhelming, but remember that it exists to ensure that you’re a fair and equal employer. Use it to your advantage, in a way that supports your staff and the benefits in terms of engagement, retention and performance could be plentiful.

Look For Solutions And Opportunities Instead Of Problems

If you run a small business and an employee announces that they’ll be taking maternity leave soon, you might feel slightly panicked. Regardless of how much you want to support your staff, the reality of having to navigate through the changes can be overwhelming.

Instead of just looking at the potential problems though, examine the opportunities that exist. Is there another member of staff who can step up and cover the role? Could this be an indicator that it’s time for you to start to look towards more flexible working practices? How can this situation be turned on its head to make your workplace more appealing to new and existing employees?

Speak To Your Staff

You already speak to your staff all the time, so this might seem a little bit obvious. But are you actually having meaningful, honest and open conversations about your role as an employer and how you can support your workforce as they navigate their way through key life stages?

Rather than just assuming that you know what your working mothers want and need, ask them. It may be the case that small changes to your policies and practices could make a big difference to your workforce.

If you know that you need to make changes to give various segments of your employees a better chance to thrive and succeed, then there’s no time like the present. If issues are bubbling away under the surface, or you suspect that problems could arise if you don’t take action, get in touch today. We can arrange to have a no-obligation discussion about your options, and how we might be able to work together. Call us today on 0203 627 7048 or drop us a line at hello@thehrhub.co.uk

Image: Canva

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