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Parent-Friendly Workplaces Support Work-Life Balance

Research from the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority sheds light on how recent global events have led to organisations in the UAE to embrace the needs of working families.

By Maggie Mancini

The rise of parent-friendly workplaces in the United Arab Emirates has supported working parents, positively impacting how they interact and connect with their children, according to research from the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority. Parent-friendly workplaces are organisations that offer policies, practices, and a culture to support working parents. They often provide flexibility, welcome back new parents, offer special considerations for challenging family circumstances, and exceed local legal requirements regarding parental leave, according to the report.  

The report reveals several important trends driving the growth of these workplaces across the UAE, including the following.  

  • There has been a shift from treats and perks to real flexibility and balance in the workplace. The report finds that 90% of employees who are satisfied with the parent-friendly support offered by their organisation would be likely to recommend their employer as a parent-friendly place to work.  
  • There has been growing recognition of the power of organisational leadership in driving change. This is reinforced by the report’s finding that 87% of employees believe their managers apply parent-friendly policies fairly and consistently.  
  • Organisations that are dedicated to long-term success are embedding good practices into their parent-friendly policies. Nearly half of the 75 organisations that applied to become a parent-friendly workplace—31 total companies—report that they have proactively initiated upgrades to their policies or are actively considering those changes because of their engagement with the programme.  

The shift to parent-friendly workplaces in the UAE is being driven by several factors, including: 

  • the ongoing impact of COVID-19 policies and practices; 
  • growing use and benefit of remote work and employee autonomy; 
  • greater awareness of the return on investment in employee well-being; and 
  • increasing recognition of the value of human skills. 

Parent-friendly workplaces are beneficial to organisations by helping them attract and retain employees, enhancing their employer brand, and improving profitability and performance, according to the report. They benefit families by providing extended maternity and paternity leave and helping mothers stay in the workforce. Further, they benefit communities by helping reduce parental stress, reducing healthcare costs, and investing in future generations, the research finds.  

Tags: EMEA June 2024, EMEA News

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