Governor Phil Scott, Secretary of Administration Susanne Young, and Human Resources Commissioner Beth Fastiggi announced an “Infants in the Workplace” program for state employees. The policy will allow a state employee the option to bring their infant children up to the age of six months to work. The program is set to launch on Friday, February 1.
The program is available to state employees who are parents or legal guardians to infants between the ages of six weeks and six months. Eligible parents must apply to participate and receive approval from their supervisor and the Commissioners of Human Resources and Buildings and General Services, to insure the work site is appropriate and all safety and health measures are in place.
“In conjunction with my proposed bi-state voluntary paid family leave program, this initiative can provide working families with options to give their kids the healthiest possible start to life while allowing them to remain in the workforce if they choose to,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I want to thank Secretary Young and Commissioner Fastiggi for their work to provide this opportunity for state employees. This is important, as we work to retain and recruit talented employees for the State.”
Fastiggi said programs like this can provide positive results for both babies and parents.
“Research shows that allowing parents to remain with their infants in the earliest stage of life supports critical bonding, healthy infant brain development, and parental well-being,” said Commissioner Fastiggi. “This program promotes these benefits, while allowing employees to remain engaged in their work, save on child care costs, and increase their job satisfaction and positive work-life balance.”
To ensure the health and well-being of infants, parents and all employees, there are safety measures in place, including safety checks of parents’ work spaces, proper health procedures, designating a “care provider” who can assist if needed, and more.
The Agencies of Administration, Agriculture, Digital Services, Education, Natural Resources and Transportation and the Department of Labor will be the first to adopt the program, while other State agencies and departments are encouraged to opt in.
To view more on the new policy, visit humanresources.vermont.gov/labor-relations/labor-relations-policies/infants-work.