Women business owners shed light on ‘unlimited’ maternity leave policy

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 6, 2015) – Major companies like Netflix and Microsoft recently announced a new policy for “unlimited” maternity and paternity leave. Local companies are weighing in on the policy and why it’s not always the best idea for employees to take extended periods of time off work.

Audrey Taylor is a local business owner and mother of two. She knows just how difficult it can be to juggle family time and work.

“Founding my own business with a baby at nine months old, might look crazy, but it actually afforded me to have a balance and schedule to maintain my involvement in the community,” Taylor said.

Taylor is the CEO of Indy based netlogx, a company that employs a handful of women. Taylor is also a member of the Indy chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. At netlogx, there’s a few women preparing to take maternity leave.

“Working moms work really, really hard and they make every minute count, so they’re actually a huge asset,” Taylor said.

It’s the ideal of employee retention that sparked the benefits competition among major corporations. Taylor said employees should be treated as families and needs should be understood at all times, not just during a women’s pregnancy or maternity leave.

“We don’t employ individuals, we employ families. That’s true of every organization, but when you’re in a small organization, you truly know the family behind that person’s paycheck,” she said.

Most small businesses are unable to offer “unlimited” time off. Taylor said at netlogx, employees have specialized responsibilities and positions are more difficult to fill with a smaller staff. She said sometimes unlimited PTO  may not be as good as it sounds.

“It’s nice to be off when the baby is small, but then the baby gets sicks and the baby needs wellness checks and then other things come up where you need more time, so it’s more balance over the long period of time,” she said.

Experts say taking long periods of time off work may also put you behind in your career. Taylor agrees.

“Everyone knows the IT industry is really, really fast paced, so there’s a limit you can take out of your IT career and come back and find a similar IT career,” she said.

For some helpful information on taking time off work and returning to the workforce, click here.

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