3 NYC tech companies offering benefits supporting working parents and families

February 21, 2018

Starting and raising a family can be one of life’s greatest joys. Though, if the company you work for does not provide adequate family benefits, it can also be a serious scheduling struggle. Fortunately, NYC tech has dedicated itself to offering comprehensive policies for new and existing parents alike, bridging the gap between work and family. Built In NYC chatted with some of NYC’s top tech companies to get the scoop on these sweet perks, and understand how family benefits don’t only make better parents, but better companies.

 

A woman in a pink shirt sits on a green couch

Everyone knows that teachers are all about “their kids.” At Teachers Pay Teachers, a teacher-friendly lesson plan marketplace, employees can be all about their kids, too. Director of Engineering Nathan Hurst and VP of Marketing and Communications Brynne Zuccaro spoke to Built In NYC about their journeys as parents and employees of Teachers Pay Teachers.

 

What specific perks and benefits are offered to new parents?

At Teachers Pay Teachers, employees are offered three months of paid parental leave. In addition to the three months of paid parental leave across the board, birth mothers also receive an additional 6-8 weeks of leave. This time off can be taken at any point within the first year of welcoming a new baby home from the hospital or an adoption. This time off can be taken at any point within the first year of welcoming a new baby home from the hospital or an adoption.

“I have two children under two, having had both while at Teachers Pay Teachers,” explained Hurst. “I took three months of parental leave for each child, and personally, I couldn’t have imagined taking less time. As a father, being able to take twelve weeks for parental leave helped me and my wife, who is also an engineer, share as many childcare responsibilities as possible.”

 

What perks and benefits are offered to employees who already have children?

For Teachers Pay Teachers employees who may already have families, the company ensures their needs are met, too. Flexible schedules allow parents to be present at school pick-up and drop-off hours, four weeks of paid vacation ensures there’s time to spend together, and benefits keep the family happy and healthy.

“What I love, as a parent, is that I am developing an appreciation for what great teaching looks like,” said Zuccaro. “I get to see amazing examples of engaging teaching and learning — giving me a deeper understanding of what it means to be a teacher."

 

In your view, how does offering employees these types of family benefits help your company grow and thrive?

At Teachers Pay Teachers, comprehensive family benefits help attract a diverse employee base, and boost company pride. Hurst added that working with families also helps business in a more technical way: “To support the benefits we have for families, you have to organize the company to avoid siloing knowledge. When someone goes on parental leave, their responsibilities are distributed to other team members,” he explained. “If the systems they work on are not well monitored, tested and documented, covering their leave is much more difficult. This level of system ownership benefits our user-base and our workflow by making them much more flexible, it also decreases the cost of change in general.”

 

A large group of people sits outside in the grass

Justworks is one of the best in the business when it comes to helping other companies organize flawless HR departments, seamless payroll systems and benefits packages. Therefore it comes as no surprise that Justworks employees themselves have one of the best family benefits packages around. Kirsten Behncke Colyer, VP of people and talent, spoke to Built In NYC about how the company helps foster an environment that supports parents.

 

What specific perks and benefits are offered to new parents?

At Justworks, new parents are given 12 weeks of paid parental leave. Additionally, there is an onsite nursing room at the Justworks office so new mothers can nurse or pump in comfort and privacy.  

 

What perks and benefits are offered to employees who already have children?

Justworks takes a holistic approach when it comes to keeping its employees and their families well. The company partners with Health Advocate for an Employee Assistance Program that helps parents find childcare services 24/7. Justworks also makes use of Talkspace, an online therapy provider, to take care of its employees’ mental well-being.

Flexible PTO ensures Justworks employees can take time off as needed, whether it be for a child’s dentist appointment or a fun family vacation. In the office, affinity groups help parents bond, share advice and integrate their lives as parents with their lives as Justworks employees.

 

In your view, how does offering these types of family benefits help your company grow and thrive?

“Recent changes to state Paid Family Leave policies have increased the need and expectation for updated parental leave benefit models,” explained Behncke. “They have also become an important perk to attract and maintain talent in a competitive market. When it comes to parental leave policies, our focus at Justworks has always been to provide benefits that are inclusive and support the growth and care for all types of families. Inclusivity also extends to our younger employees that don’t have families yet, for whom we provide tools to help them think about family planning and the longevity of their lives. This approach, as a company, allows us to continue to grow along with our people.”

 

A woman sits working at a desk

At Stack Overflow, the company’s remote-oriented culture provides new parents with the flexibility they need to be present for newborns and growing kids alike. In order to understand this unique culture, Built In NYC spoke to Inclusion Manager & Senior People Ops Partner Casey Ashenhurst to understand what goes into to making Stack, and its families, run.

 

What specific perks and benefits are offered to new parents?

“At Stack, we offer 16 weeks for the primary caregiver and 10 weeks for the secondary caregiver at 100 percent paid,” Ashenhurst said. “After this time period, there is the option, if they are an employee in good standing, to come back in a part-time capacity for up to a year.” It’s also not required that this time be taken off in a single stretch, allowing for even greater flexibility in a new parent’s schedule.

Stack Overflow doesn’t just give its employees time off, though, but actively works to ensure this time away from the office is well spent. “We offer $500 toward takeout for the first two months of parental leave,” she explains. For remote employees who live in less takeout-friendly areas, the credit can be used toward meal kits like Blue Apron.

Other perks include adoption assistance (including reimbursement of up to $5,000 for legal expenses) and a comprehensive healthcare program.

 

What perks and benefits are offered to employees who already have children?

“One of our biggest benefits is our general flexibility as a company,” said Ashenhurst. She explained that many employees work atypical schedules that allow them to do things like take their children to school, attending mid-day parent meetings, or prep a family dinner in the afternoon.

More recently, Stack Overflow implemented a Dependent Care Account (DCA) that allows employees to set aside an untaxed portion of their paycheck for childcare services.

In general, the company works to be mindful of employees with families, especially when it comes to things such as travel, company parties and retreats and other off-site work.

 

How does offering these types of family benefits help your company grow and thrive?

“One of the things we say about remote work is that we want to be able to hire really great people, and we don’t want to have something like their geography stand in the way,” Ashenhurst said. “I think from a business sense, being able to support employees throughout their own personal growth — these are the sorts of things they are looking for.”

She explained that talent for high-level, senior roles is more likely to have families, and therefore feel more at home at Stack Overflow than they would elsewhere. While younger employees may not be immediately concerned with the company’s childcare perks, Ashenhurst emphasized the importance of building a foundation where employees can continue to grow and thrive within the company, no matter where their personal life may take them.

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