A majority of Utah parents with children under the age of 12 work full-time and believe there are a number of policies employers could offer that would support them in getting closer to their ideal balance between paid work and childcare. For employers wanting to support their employees, this article derived from a report from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute provides insight into supportive policies that attract working parents.

In a family-oriented state like Utah, working parents play an important role in the economy and labor market. Currently, because of the state’s low unemployment rate and high labor force participation, employers are competing for qualified employees to keep their businesses and organizations staffed. 

So, how can employers attract and hire more qualified employees who have families? One answer lies in supportive employer policies. 58% of surveyed households reported having children under the age of six in their homes, causing parents to work less or stay at home to care for them. However, data shows that many of these parents would work more or change their job if they had supportive policies at work. 

There are a number of supportive policies employers can enact to recruit, support, and retain working parents in Utah’s competitive labor market. They include paid family leave, flexible but stable hours and schedule, and remote or hybrid work options. Companies that offer these policies show working parents their commitment to family-friendly culture.

“When I was single, it was nearly impossible for me to leave work when one of my children was sick,” stated one survey respondent. “If my employer had policies that were more flexible when it comes to that, and not losing pay if my child [had] to come home sick suddenly, that would have been life changing for me.”

Statements such as these reflect parents’ openness to change, and provide important feedback to employers wanting to do the most they can to recruit, support, and retain their employees in the current competitive job market and as part of a positive company culture moving forward. Even simple changes on an employer’s end can make a huge difference in supporting parent employees.

There may not be a one-size-fits-all approach to helping working parents achieve their desired work/life balance, but there are a number of supportive policies available to employers. With small, intentional changes to workplace culture, Utah employers can attract more qualified, working parents and support more families.

For more information on family-friendly policies, visit the Utah Community Builders website.