How to Announce a Change to Your Paid Parental Leave Policy
As the benefits season rolls around, it’s always best practice to evaluate your organization’s current offerings to see what works, what doesn’t, and what you can do to provide better value to your team members. If you’re looking to take your paid parental leave in-house or simply make a change, review the following template for a simple and effective communication strategy.
Why Employers May Offer Paid Parental Leave Benefits
Recently, more and more employers have begun offering improved benefits packages to current and prospective workers. According to a 2018 SHRM Employee Benchmark Survey, “92% of employees surveyed indicated that employee benefits significantly impacted overall job satisfaction.”
In essence, your benefits package is a bargaining chip that, if optimized, can be used to attract new employees, retain current team members, and improve the livelihood of everyone involved. As a result, many organizations have taken it upon themselves to review and refine their benefits offerings—including paid parental leave.
If you’ve decided to make the leap for your own company, here’s how to announce the news.
Step 1: Announce the Change
When communicating with your team about changes to their benefits, it’s always best to be up front from the beginning. After all, aside from payroll, benefits administration is often the highest expense for most organizations. In essence, it’s essential that you get these kinds of communications correct.
In journalism, this tactic is sometimes depicted as an inverted pyramid to demonstrate that the most important information is presented first—the who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Consider the following example:
Changes to [Organization]’s Paid Parental Leave Policy
In an ongoing effort to optimize and strengthen the team’s benefits options, we’re
pleased to announce that [Organization] will internally administer a maternity benefit
to our employees, which was previously offered by [Provider] under the Short Term
You’ve already explained what change was made, why it was made, and how it will be made. Now, dive a little further into the details.
Step 2: Include What's New and When to Expect the Change
If possible, be sure to announce this change well in advance of the open enrollment period to give your team members ample time to adjust their budgets accordingly.
Team members can expect this change to take effect during our renewal on [date].
Next, break down the changes so that each is clearly and concisely communicated. You don’t need to include all of the relevant details, as a simple CTA to contact their HR manager will suffice.
Consider the following example, with sample details filled out for each category:
The following changes will be made to the benefit:
Effective Date: Date of the child’s birth
Elimination Period: None
Benefit Duration: 90 days
Benefit Amount: 100% of salary (assuming 40-hour work week for hourly employees)
Eligible Employees: All full-time employees
Administration: Benefits will be administered internally, meaning employees will continue to receive their normal paycheck through payroll
Step 3: Summarize and Conclude Announcement
Finish your communication with a final sentence or two detailing exactly what the change means for employees:
For a standard delivery, no claim would need to be filed to [Provider] and no benefit would be paid. [Organization] will handle both the administration and payment internally.
At the bottom of the message, consider including contact information in case team members have additional questions about the change and what it means for their benefits package.
Step 4: Make Policy Easily Available
It's important to get these steps right. Every benefit and communication of that benefit can add to your company culture in the short- and long-term.
Likewise, make sure to include the new policy information in your Culture Guide (or employee handbook) to ensure that it's easily available for all employees. A robust HRIS empowers you to share this information and store it for streamlined employee access, meaning HR doesn't have to retrieve the policy every time a team member asks about it.
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