I was so happy to report recently that two of the firms we support, BDB Pitmans LLP, and Winckworth Sherwood LLP, have agreed to amend their policies, now classing my planned parental coaching sessions as paid Keeping In Touch (KIT) days.
These firms will not only be better able to retain talented people, but their employees are more likely to feel valued and supported during one of life’s most significant transformations.
What Are KIT Days?
Naturally, we are a strong advocate of these ten flexible, nominated days, on which an employee on maternity or adoption leave can work at their normal full daily rate of pay – even if they do not work for the whole day – without losing statutory leave.
(For more detailed information about KIT days, you can download our one-page guide here.)
The benefits of KIT days are many and varied. Employees can use them to stay updated with developments at work, attend conferences or Zoom calls, take part in their annual appraisal interview, or even join the Christmas party!
As you might imagine, KIT days can help to ease the dread of that ‘return to work’ feeling after a long period of time away, ensuring a smoother transition when leave ends. A KIT day could also act as a useful practice run for planned childcare arrangements.
Given the many advantages for employers and employees alike, you may find it surprising when I say that many eligible employees do not use their allocation at all.
There are many potential explanations for this. Some may not be aware that they are entitled to KIT days or what they involve, some may feel unable to make the request to their employer, and others may not know how best to use their allocation.
My first piece of advice for organisations, therefore, would be to ensure your maternity and adoption policies are updated with full reference to KIT days, along with application guidance, and clear examples of how you expect them to be used.
How Can Planned Parental Coaching Help?
As a parental support coach, my sessions are designed to help employees make the most of their KIT day allocation.
Coaching usually begins at the point of announcement. I then work individually with the employee to develop an effective handover, undertake a mental health review, and develop a clear, structured plan that helps them adjust to their new life as a working parent, without losing precious career momentum.
Our plan also involves a full discussion about how best to use the employee’s KIT day allocation, also working closely with HR to help facilitate a focused countdown to return.
“Sandie has really helped many of our employees plan a successful maternity leave strategy, giving them confidence to address the challenges returning to work can bring.”
Karen Chalmers, HR Director, Winckworth Sherwood LLP
With future-forward focus on building emotional resilience, parental coaching can help talented employees feel positive and confident about returning to work. In turn, this helps your organisation to retain key talent, and become a true employer of choice.
Download our Maternity Coaching Schedule to find out more about the structure of our sessions.
If you would like to discuss how planned parental coaching from Beyond EAP could help your employees, please contact us to arrange a confidential, no-obligation chat.