The South Carolina Department of Insurance has a new policy allowing employees who are new parents to bring their infants to work.
Department of Insurance Director Ray Farmer said he wanted to offer an innovative incentive to his employees. “One of our ongoing concerns is how do we recruit good talent and how do we retain good talent?” he said. “So we look for ways to help families out, help our employees out.”
Farmer said since his office has fewer than 100 employees, it’s unlikely there would be too many babies in the workplace at once.
“Once you think about it, it’s a policy that should make sense. Since we’re a small agency, we wouldn’t have too many children at one time,” he said.
Parents will be able to keep their infants with them at their desks up to the age of six months. If the child gets fussy and noisy, the office has a quiet room.
While the idea is being praised as innovative, Farmer says it’s “not out of the ordinary” and other states offer similar programs. “It is certainly not an original idea but I think it’s a good one and pursuing in this trial program,” he said. “If it doesn’t work, we’ll go to plan B. We’ll try something else.”
Farmer said employees seemed pleased when they were notified of the new policy.
“There were a lot of smiles going around,” he described the time the employees were told.
“We’re looking forward to this,” Farmer said. “We think it will just help in the overall environment of the Department of Insurance. The overall morale will probably be improved. If you see a small child, an infant in the office, how can you not help but smile?”