Children. One word evokes so many emotions.
For parents, children are the start of a new chapter in their lives. A time to reorganize their priorities to be conducive to the health and wellbeing of their new family member.
And for their employers, it’s a chance to share in this journey and support the new family as best as they can—both in and out of the workplace.
While care packages, time off, and well wishes are much appreciated, there are other ways HR professionals can support their employees having children. We outline four of the best below.
Encourage them to revisit their insurance options
Normally, employees are only able to adjust their health insurance benefits during open enrollment (OE). But when they have a baby, the rules change.
Having a baby is considered a qualifying life event. In other words, people can change their health insurance benefits outside of OE.
Depending on the coverage your company offers, you may want to encourage your employees to revisit their selections to see how they can find the best insurance coverage for their growing family.
Most policies give a free breast pump for each child and coverage of a child’s vision and dental. But only those who thoroughly evaluate the options and know the details will reap these benefits and make the right choice for their families.
Help them take advantage of their childcare benefits
The average daycare center in the U.S. charges $12,000 annually, per child. And that’s not taking into account the time spent finding one that fits the parents’ routines and is located close to home.
If you’ve gone through it all yourself, you know childcare is no joke.
Luckily, as an HR professional, you can help your employees maximize their childcare savings through optimized usage of their benefits.
There are two important ones that help with the cost of childcare: Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DCFSAs) and the Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC).
While they can’t use both for the same expenses, it’s possible to compute the best option for them based on their personal financial situations.
Let them know of available credits
There are a whole host of tax credits available for soon-to-be parents.
For starters, there’s the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which is one of the largest benefits of claiming a child on your tax return.
New parents are often able to get a tax credit up to $2,000. That’s in addition to $2,000 for each other qualifying child. And because it’s a credit, it offsets taxes due on a dollar-for-dollar basis and can increase a refund at tax time.
We’ll let you be the bearer of good news on this next tip as well: The credit is the same whether the child was born at the beginning or end of the year. (And the credits apply for those adopting a child as well.)
And because of the CTC’s effect on a tax bill, you should also encourage new parents to revisit their W-4. W-4 forms are often completed once and forgotten, but employees can change them any time to adjust their withholding. This will give your new parents more cash in their pocket when they need it most.
Provide them personalized guidance
We know that as an HR professional, your best intention is to support your employees. But when it comes to the intimate details of their personal lives and finances, it can feel like you’re overstepping your boundaries the more details you ask.
That’s where an outside vendor like Pasito can step in.
Pasito is a financial wellness software that supports employees through qualifying life events, such as birth or adoption. We provide them personalized benefits and financial guidance to maximize their savings and increase take-home pay.
And since we’re a third-party provider, all conversations and support are private. This means expecting parents on your team will receive the support they need at the time they need it most, with little legwork and probing on your part.