Hr Case Essay

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Amid the anticipation of having a baby, many expectant women face a big decision: whether to stay home with their child or come back to work. When they opt to stay home, the result for employers is a costly loss of skilled employees. As highly-qualified, experience workers leave to care for their children, the “mommy drain” has prompted many companies to take innovative steps to stop it. Fewer new mothers are returning to work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Of those who do, nearly one fourth go back not to their previous employer but to another company, often making a lateral move to a competitor with similar compensation, hours, and responsibilities. Many women, looking for flexibility, go to smaller firms or start their own businesses.1 When a woman doesn’t go back to her job after having a baby, HR departments must recruit and hire a replacement. One talent management group estimates that it costs companies as much as $75,000 to replace an employee with a $50,000 annual salary.2 Additional costs potentially result from job coverage, absenteeism during maternity leave, and productivity loss. How can companies reduce turnover and the burden on the HR staff? The answer is by providing meaningful support to employees from the time the pregnancy is announced. Support can mean paid maternity leave and unpaid extended leave, as well as incentives to return to work, such as onsite child care, provisions for lactation, flexible scheduling, and telecommuting. Bank of America offers as many as eight weeks’ parental leave at full pay, for both mothers and fathers. Accenture enables women to take extended maternity leaves through a program in which employees set aside part of their pay to finance up to three extra months of leave, with benefits. For one Accenture manager, who was able to use the leave plus vacation time to get 7 months off with her new baby,

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