ompanies are increasingly looking at the needs and desires of their people, in order to help them not only during working hours, but throughout their lives, understanding that employees go through different stages throughout their lives, thus their priorities will also change. When the topic is parenting, the measures and benefits that organisations offer have multiplied.
A budget meant for day care or to help cover expenses with extracurricular activities for children, merit scholarships or days-off are just some of the measures that intend to encourage employees to start a family, promote well-being and integrate both private and professional parts of people's lives.
In what comes to flexible and customisable benefits, it is usually possible to allocate a certain budget to a certain expense. At Coverflex, the childcare voucher is meant precisely to pay for expenses with the education of children from zero to seven years old (excluding). This voucher can be used in nurseries and kindergartens, in public, private and public-private education. The choice is up to the employees.
Currently, Coverflex has a network of more than 1,600 partner day care centres and kindergartens. However, if the school you are looking for is not part of our network, let us know, so that we can try to add it quickly! "The experience is effective, and the product is good: basically, it meets people’s needs.", says Teresa Costa, Aquarium Project - Braga, one of Coverflex's partner schools.
Budget for extracurricular activities
There are still those who prefer to allocate the budget to extracurricular activities for the employees' children, that is, to offer monetary help for attending activities such as football, ballet, swimming or theater, for example.
MC, for instance, the entity that owns Continente, offers programs that teach employees' children how to program, how to discover a professional vocation, among others.
There are companies that prefer to create an award that rewards merit and, at the same time, encourages children and young people to achieve excellent school performance. El Corte Inglés is one of them, awarding merit scholarships to the children of employees with the highest ratings.
“This initiative is launched internally along with messages encouraging employees to participate in their children's school paths. It is suggested that they inform their children of the application and the possibility of winning the scholarship at the beginning of the school year, in order to encourage them to achieve an excellent academic performance. The goal is to show them that the more they study, the greater the professional and personal opportunities will be”, clarifies the company, in a statement.
When it's time to go back to school, there are also companies that want to help pay for enrolment, a backpack, books, and school supplies. The José Pimenta Marques Group, for example, whose head office is in Braga, at the beginning of September delivered more than 70 kits with school material to employees with children up to 17 years old. The company includes this offer in its benefits policy since 2017, with the aim of “helping employees to face the increased expenses of going back to school”, the management says.
In addition to a backpack, a pencil case and pens, for example, the kit includes a card game that focuses on the interpersonal skills of younger people and a monthly planner, to encourage the organisational capacity of older people. "As in previous years, we designed a school kit that goes beyond formal learning and school, and can help follow and help our employees' children in their personal and social growth", the administration also explains to Braga TV.
Day off on the first day of school
Since we're on the topic, the first day of school can be hectic, especially for parents, who need to take care of so many things so their kids can have a smooth return. For this very reason, to make sure that this step – that is so important in the lives of children, but also in the lives of parents – is taken with some peace of mind, there are organisations that choose to give the employees the day off. This way they don't have to worry about work that day, but just about supporting their children.
“We promote several initiatives to support the employee, their family and their career, in a logic of integration of the different components that enhance greater personal fulfilment and well-being”, says Graça Rebôcho, Human Resources Director at Altice Portugal, quoted by Human Resources. The waiver for accompanying students up to 12 years of age on the first day of school is one of these initiatives.
Education expenses, one of the flexible benefits included in the Coverflex solution, are intended for the payment of courses, fees, books and school materials in the context of the education of children aged 7 years or older. If the employee prefers to, they can apply this benefit to expenses incurred in this context both for them and people in their household.
Although they vary in their form, the goal of all these benefits is to maintain a balance between personal and professional spheres, which also contributes to the employee's satisfaction and motivation. However, it must be borne in mind that not all employees have children or value this type of benefit. Therefore, the benefit plan should be flexible, so that each person can adapt the benefits to their needs and lifestyle.