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Exploring Employee Benefits Which Make a Difference for Working Mothers

Brokers can create opportunities for their clients through a professional employer organization (PEO) partner like ExtensisHR.

Quick look: With Mother’s Day around the corner, it’s a good time to revisit some of the benefits which speak to the specific needs of working mothers to ensure both compliance and competitiveness are achieved in the workplace.

The most recently reported data from the U.S. Department of Labor (BLS) shows the labor force participation rate for mothers with children under the age of 18 is 72.9% compared to 92.9% for fathers. Additionally, employed fathers (95.6%) are more likely to work full-time than employed mothers (80.5%) for those with young children.

With society and statistics naming mothers as the primary caregivers, providing a benefit path accommodating their unique needs can motivate women to remain in the workplace. However, it’s not only about staying competitive when recruiting and retaining top talent, brokers and their small- and medium-sized business (SMB) clients understand the importance of maintaining compliance as well.

To create equity and a rewarding work-life balance for mothers, it’s important to explore offerings designed for their distinct needs. Below are several valuable benefits to consider; plus, how brokers can create opportunities for their clients through a professional employer organization (PEO) partner like ExtensisHR.

PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act requires private accommodations

A longstanding challenge for breastfeeding mothers has been finding a private place to pump at work. As a solution, the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act was passed in 2023. It requires workplaces to assign a designated place (other than the bathroom) for breastfeeding mothers to pump in peace.

Not only does this call for comfortable accommodations to be made, but the legislation also requires a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for one year after the child’s birth. Though workplace protections were in place prior to the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act, it is now enforceable by law and SMBs must comply.

Pumpspotting connects a virtual community

Pumpspotting was created for breastfeeding mothers as they navigate their babies’ feeding journeys and provides answers to the most frequently asked questions. It serves as a virtual, judgment-free community for mothers to receive support and give advice to others experiencing similar challenges.

For businesses, ExtensisHR offers this voluntary offering to provide guidance on how to maintain compliance in the workplace and how family-friendly benefits are used for recruiting and retention best practices. Additionally, as a customizable benefit, the Pumpspotting platform includes a complete toolkit of assets and collateral to properly communicate workplace policies.

Adding this as a potential benefit lets working mothers know they have resources readily available to them rather than making them feel they have to seek out solutions on their own.

Carrot offers family-forming assistance

Through a partnership with Carrot, ExtensisHR offers SMB leaders inclusive fertility and family-forming benefits to address all paths to parenthood. This includes adoption, gestational carrier support (commonly referred to as surrogacy), fertility treatments, pregnancy, and more.  This voluntary benefit speaks to employees who seek reproductive, emotional, and financial health benefits in a modern, accessible way.

Customized benefit plans for parents

In addition to legislation and specialized partnerships for voluntary benefits, a PEO partner can equip brokers and their SMB clients to do more with the plans they have. Sometimes benefits require a complete revamp, but most often, a few adjustments can make a significant difference.

Paid parental leave

As part of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees are entitled to “up to 12 work weeks of unpaid-job-protected leave each calendar year for specified family and medical reasons.” Though helpful following the birth of a child, several months of unpaid time can be a financial strain for many families. Instead, looking into the option of offering paid parental leave and instituting coverage policies in a worker’s absence can help employees feel supported and inclined to stay with a company longer.

Note: Different states and local jurisdictions have established their own rules concerning paid/unpaid family leave as well as paid/unpaid sick and safe leave. To ensure you have the most accurate and relevant information, it’s essential to refer to the laws specific to your location.

Flexible work schedules

Flexible and/or remote work schedules are a perk which can ease the burden of balancing a 9-to-5 workday with childcare or school pick-up and drop-off. Adjusting the workday by even a few hours can create opportunities for mothers (and fathers) to attend to their children’s needs while still upholding their work responsibilities.


The advantage of telemedicine allows employees to receive the healthcare they need without having to take unnecessary time off work. Many health insurance plans have started to include telemedicine as part of their coverage, making it easier for SMBs to add this benefit.

Keeping SMBs competitive and compliant

Employees are being increasingly vocal about their benefit needs, making personalization an expected part of the benefit planning process. With the cost of replacing an employee equaling as much as 200% of a person’s salary, retaining valuable talent is critical to SMB growth.

In addition to making benefits part of an overarching talent management strategy, a PEO partner can help SMB leaders ensure their workplaces stay protected. New legislation is introduced every year, with subtle changes to legal language which can make it challenging for SMB leaders to navigate. Having the expertise of a team of HR professionals to rely on minimizes risk, costs, and claims.

Full-service HR solution with a people-first approach

In addition to risk and compliance management services, ExtensisHR also gives SMBs access to comprehensive HR and benefit services, including talent management, as well as a centralized, mobile-friendly HR platform.

With a dedicated team in place, the goal is to create a benefit plan tailored to a workplace’s current needs, with flexibility to change as it grows. This attention to customization boosts benefit participation rates and employee retention goes up, which ultimately empowers SMBs to reach their next phase of growth.

Guided by the expertise of a PEO partner, brokers and SMB clients can alleviate concerns about staying compliant and keeping up with the latest benefit trends.

Extend your offerings and client relationships by connecting with our team. Contact ExtensisHR today.

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