By Angela Perry
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL —The City of Hallandale Beach is proud to announce the recently approved paid-parental leave benefit offered to City employees. Hallandale is the first City in Broward County to adopt the new policy in effort to evolve with the ever-changing workforce and meet the needs of their employees. The ground-breaking policy now makes Hallandale Beach one of South Florida’s Top cities for employment.
The United States is alone among wealthy countries in its lack of a national paid family or sick leave benefit. Federal law grants a little over half of workers up-to twelve weeks of unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act but provides no national paid leave.
The Hallandale Beach Paid-Parental Leave policy is a ground-breaking and innovative effort to help the City meet the demands of the current workforce and assist them in growing with their employees by meeting them “where they are,” in life. The policy will provide employees up-to twelve weeks of paid parental leave for new parents following the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child.
The City of Hallandale Beach prides itself on the vision and slogan “Progress, Innovation, Opportunity.” This vision was the leading force behind the city’s decision to implement the new policy, which will benefit the overall wellness of their employees and their families. Recent studies have shown that parental leave policies promote wellness for both Children and parents. For infants, paid parental leave has been associated with decreases in infant deaths, lower birth weights, as well as increases in breastfeeding rates. Paid-parental leave has also been associated with decreasing symptoms of postpartum depression for new mothers. For fathers, the length of leave has many positive effects and increases paternal involvement with families.
Hallandale Beach has a goal to create and maintain a work culture that supports employees in their effort to balance their work responsibilities with the demands of personal and family life. In addition to the recently approved parental-leave policy, the City has recently also adopted and/or modified several employee benefits that highlight their commitment to work-life balance.
One of the newly improved benefits is the Education Reimbursement Program, which reimburses eligible employees for the successful completion of approved courses leading to an Associate, Bachelor, or a Graduate degree, including a Doctor of Philosophy degree and a Juris Doctorate degree that is related to the employee’s position. The city is also offering a Temporary Flexible Work Schedule that allows employees able to perform their duties remotely, the option to work from home up to twelve-days per year. This progressive policy also gives employees the opportunity to work remotely on alternating days or weeks, including half days in person and half days remotely.
During the Covid-19 pandemic the issue of Childcare for the working class caused major financial and personal devastations on families nationwide, most significantly during the summer months. The Cities new Childcare policy provides City Employees that enroll their child(ren) in the Summer Camp offered through the City’s Human Services Department, a 50% discount for each child.
One of the most progressive policies that the City has recently adopted is the Self-Care Days policy which allows employees to convert up to four Sick Days per Fiscal Year into Self Care Days. The Self Care Days’ time-off does not impact the employee’s ability to participate in the annual Sick Leave Buy Back program and will not count against the maximum hours an employee may sell back. Employers around the nation have begun to adopt Self-care days to reduce or prevent “Employee Burnout,” amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Employee burnout is the psychological process that occurs due to prolonged stress or excessive work hours and is a multibillion-dollar annual expense on businesses worldwide. These personal care days allow employees to have healthy relationships and respond to stress appropriately.
“Our goal here in Hallandale Beach is to be on the forefront of creating the type of environment that makes people want to stay and grow with us. The last year and eight months of the pandemic has been extremely challenging for everyone in the workforce, we want our team members to know that they are valued and appreciated.” said Dr. Jeremy Earle, City Manager and CRA Executive Director.