Design Element 5



Decisions to Be Made

Consider whether you will provide supporting mechanisms to complement paid family & medical leave.

  1. Will your company offer support in transitions to leave? (e.g., part-time ramp-off, transition coaching)
  2. Will your company offer support in transition back from leave? (e.g., part-time ramp-on, guarantee of no travel in first months back)
  3. Will your company offer parenting support? (e.g., on-site childcare center, working parents group)

How to Approach These Decisions

Consider what your employees are asking for and what their experiences have shown

  • Have employees, especially those with experience taking leave, voiced interest in specific types of support?
  • Consider asking about supporting mechanisms in a PFML focus group
  • Review your most recent employee survey results to see if there were specific requests for support or indications that support would be of value
    • This may include: employees indicating that work transitions are challenging, employees mentioning they don't know who to go to with PFML questions, employees indicating they would have benefited from advice and support)

Understand the ramp-on/off experiences of employees who have taken leave previously - If employees have found the transition to/from work challenging or career-limiting, there is a strong case for allowing ramp-on/off flexibility

  • Have one-on-one conversations with employees who have recently taken time off for parenting, caregiving, or medical reasons that are comfortable discussing their experience transitioning to/from work
  • Consider distributing a short survey to employees who've recently taken time off for parenting, caregiving, or medical reasons to gather data on their experiences


Company A: To better support employee transitions back to work, the company allows employees to work part-time in their first several weeks back from PFML leave, while still earning full pay.

Company B: To prevent employees who take leave from missing promotion milestones, this law firm reduced hour targets by 50% in the month before and after taking paid parental leave. This further ensured employees are not disadvantaged or penalized for taking advantage of the policy.

See "Real Company Stories" for how a diverse set of employers across industries designed and implemented their own paid family & medical leave policies.