We’re over 100 days into the pandemic and as the world of work, childcare, schools, and more change every day, working parents are shouldering a lot. The solutions you put in place in March are very different from the solutions that your employees—especially working parents—will need in the months ahead.

Supporting parents through this stressful time has become a national conversation. In the New York Times, Deb Perelman explored this in her viral thought-piece: “Allowing workplaces to reopen while schools, camps, and day cares remain closed tells a generation of working parents that it’s fine if they lose their jobs, insurance, and livelihoods in the process.”

We discussed some of the most important data we’ve seen regarding working parents and COVID-19 in our recent webinar hosted by Employee Benefit News & Employee Benefit Adviser: Future of work: Designing a supportive workplace for parents. Erik Lumer, Chief Product Officer at Maven, Mercedes Samudio, LCSW, parent coach, and founder of Diversity in Parenting, Inc, and Steve Jacobs, Founder and CEO of Bright Parenting and now Vice President of Product at Maven, met to discuss how they’re solving today’s parenting challenges head on. Click here to check out the webinar on-demand.

Here are some of the key takeaways from their discussion.

Retaining parents—especially women—in the workforce long-term is a top concern.

  • At least 14% of women are considering quitting their jobs because of COVID-19 and childcare (Syndio)
  • 81% of employed mothers said their ability to engage effectively at work has been negatively impacted (Working Mother Media)
  • This is on top of the fact that—without a pandemic—43% of women leave the workforce within one year of having a child (FlexJobs)
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Working parents’ needs are evolving, highlighting gaps in benefits, support, and tools.

  • On Maven, we’ve seen a 300% spike in mental health appointments since the start of the pandemic
  • Parents have been spending at least 13 hours a week, on average, on remote learning for school-aged children (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • 60% of parents said they were struggling to keep their children busy even while they had remote learning schedules, and 60% said they “have no idea how they are going to keep their child occupied all summer” (American Psychological Association)

HR and benefits leaders across industries and regions need to design supportive workplaces for parents.

Here are key elements to consider, based on best practices we’re seeing from our clients:

  • On-demand telehealth and virtual support
  • Help navigating childcare and school challenges on top of work
  • Access to expert guidance and vetted answers
  • Live webinars and virtual classes providing actionable tips
  • Easy-to-use, personalized platforms

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