Companies that offer childcare benefits for their employees stand to benefit from improved recruitment, retention, and productivity of workers, according to a report by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
The report titled Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare discusses how companies can analyze their workforce to identify the type of childcare support they can offer their employees that best suits their needs.
(TOP: Anne Kabugi, IFC Africa Gender Lead, gives a presentation in detail to women, work and children and their relationships in global trends and responses at the “IFC Tackling Childcare Report” launch).
Among the companies profiled in the report include Safaricom which has been lauded for a suite of policies and practices that help support both male and female employees with children, including on-site crèches for younger children
“We continue to create the most mother-friendly working conditions we can to reduce the disruption and costs associated with replacing women leaving the workforce to raise families. Aside from supporting new mothers, we are also actively identifying female employees with leadership potential and deliberately growing them at every level of the company”, said Steve Chege, Director – Corporate Affairs, Safaricom.
Beyond the crèche provision, Safaricom offers additional benefits including maternity leave beyond statutory provision, reduced working hours options for mothers, breastfeeding rooms, an on-site doctor, and medical insurance that includes children.
The research showed that employers that offered childcare found that it led to a substantial reduction in employee turnover and improved the quality of applicants and the speed at which vacancies can be filled.
It also showed increased productivity through reduced absences, enhanced motivation and commitment and improved gender diversity including advancement of women into leadership positions.
“When companies support childcare, they can hire and retain talent and boost profits and productivity. Moreover, childcare provision can enable more women and men to participate in paid labor. In addition, children who have access to early childhood education and care are more likely to perform well in school and be healthier, as well as are more productive as adults. Hence, childcare results in a win-win situation for employees and their children, employers, and economies,” said Manuel Moses, IFC Country Manager, East Africa
To produce the report, IFC relied on the expertise of its strategic partners, including Care.com; the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; the International Labour Organization; Kidogo; the UN Global Compact; and Un Women; as well as companies in IFC’s Tackling Childcare Partnership.
The private sector, which accounts for about 90 percent of jobs in developing countries, is a critical engine for creating more and better jobs.
Tackling Childcare is part of IFC’s broader effort to not only address gender gaps in employment but also to identify how the public and private sectors can better collaborate to create markets for childcare.