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News Archive

September 1, 2016

Boulder County further supports families by implementing “Infants-at-Work” policy

New
policy follows an increase in paid Parental Leave instated in January

Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder
County Commissioners adopted at the Sept. 1 Business Meeting an Infants-at-Work
policy as part of an ongoing effort to support new parents in the workplace and
increase employee retention. This new policy will be implemented on top of the
extended Parental Leave policy that was enacted in January of this year, and is
available to parents and legal guardians of biological or adopted infants. The action
is supported by Public Health which sites evidence of improved health and well-being
for infants who have longer bonding periods with parents.

Boulder
County Human Resources Division Director Julia Yager advocated for what she
felt was the next step in setting the county apart as a family-friendly
organization. “Allowing staff to bring their babies to work costs nothing,yet everybody
benefits when we support families and retain our valued employees,” Yager said.

The
new policy gives county employees the option to bring their infant to the workplace
after returning from allocated parental leave, and continue to bring the infant
to work until the child is mobile. The employee must have an agreement with
their supervisor, elected official or department director, and with Human Resources,
and the arrangement will be reevaluated regularly with input from coworkers
considered. Due to the wide range of duties across county offices and departments,
this option may not be ideal for all employees. Each situation will be assessed
on a case-by-case basis and accommodations will be made when possible. A copy of the policy can be viewed online.

“Positive
parental attachment in the earliest years is vital for healthy social and
emotional development,” said Heather Matthews, Boulder County Public Health
Family Health Division Manager. “Supporting parents to continue bonding with
their child after returning to work is an important step toward helping
children grow up to be healthy and productive. This ultimately leads to healthy
and prosperous communities. Allowing parents to continue bonding can also reduce
post-partum depression and make breastfeeding easier and more practical.”

Family-friendly
policies similar to the Infants-at-Work policy have significant positive social
and economic implications, including:

  • Increased female
    labor force participation by making it easier for women to stay in the
    workforce after giving birth or adopting, which contributes to economic growth.
  • Increased staff
    retention and reduced turnover.
  • Reduced reliance
    on public assistance.
  • Improved health
    for parents and children, ultimately reducing healthcare costs.
  • More potential
    for new moms to breastfeed successfully, if they choose.
  • Increased
    involvement by both parents.

"We
are pleased to offer the Infants-at-Work policy to our new or repeat parents as
yet another way to support families and
help to build lasting connections between employees, their children, and our work
community. We’re proud to help growing families get a healthy start while
supporting the continuity of county services,” said Boulder County Commissioner
Cindy Domenico.

For information about
other ways Boulder County is engaged in the community to support families and
children, visit
www.RaisingofAmericaBoulderCounty.org.