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Resource available to help businesses become more family-friendly

Posted at 5:15 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 11:04:04-05

A free resource is now available for companies on the Central Coast to help restructure their business model to better align with the challenges working parents face balancing their work and home life.

“One of the easiest tools that you can have is flexible hours,” said Jim Dantona, CEO and president of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce.

First 5 San Luis Obispo County, along with businesses and chambers of commerce in the county, launched an online Family-Friendly Workplace Toolkit. The goal? To keep employees on the Central Coast long-term.

“If we can be one of the better-known, family-friendly counties in the state, we can attract talent,” said Wendy Wendt, First 5 San Luis Obispo County executive director.

The Toolkit operates under five main facets: flexible work and scheduling, paid and unpaid leave, health benefits and spending, accommodations and support, and arguably the most important, childcare.

Dantona says the lack of childcare some businesses offer turn individuals away from taking jobs.

“If we can’t fix that quickly (it’s a long-term, structural problem), we can maybe help employers understand what they can do to make it easier for families,” said Dantona. “Get better retention of their employees and make employees a little more comfortable and efficient because they’re not as worried about everything that’s happening with their kids.”

iFixit, a San Luis Obispo-based tech company, says they have gone to great lengths, offering benefits like salary continuation while employees are on paid family leave, to keep their employees happy.

“We’ve had really good success with employer retention because of the benefits we have. We’ve seen a 100% return to work rate for all of our parents. We’re really proud of that,” said Kelly Boss, office manager for iFixit.

The toolkit is wide-ranging; what works for one company may not work for another.

“We don’t expect a small business to go and build a childcare facility, but a group of them might be able to get together and figure out pods or connect people,” said Dantona.

“There’s no one size fits all. This toolkit is really meant to showcase how there are lots of different ways to be family-friendly,” said Wendt.

If you think your business needs some help being more family-friendly for your employees, click herefor more information.