Mentl Logo


Want to boost profits by nearly a quarter? Want your employees to recommend your organisation to incoming talent? Want to be on the cutting edge of the future of work?

According to a new report, supporting parents in the workplace is one key to unlocking a bright future where both people and profits thrive.

This week Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) has released ‘The Future of Work: The Rise of Parent-friendly Workplaces in the UAE’ report, unveiling key insights into the rise of parent-friendly workplaces in the UAE and highlighting the impact of the Parent-friendly Label Program ™ (PFL), launched by ECA in 2021.

And mentl was on hand to help unveil to stakeholders and media at a special event in Abu Dhabi, the groundbreaking report which includes valuable findings from a wide-ranging study of 75 organisations across 23 industries and almost 10,000 responses to employee surveys.

The 30-page document looks at the impact of the PFL program to date, delves into key learnings and recommendations, and looks at how policies promoting parent-friendly workplaces can shape the future of work. To date, the program has proudly reached more than 148,000 children and approximately 1,500 Children of Determination.

The report underscores how the implementation of parent-friendly policies not only enhances employee retention and brand reputation but benefits the children of working parents and wider society.

Scott Armstrong, founder of mentl, led an insightful panel discussion on the rise of parent-friendly workplaces across the nation, which aligns with the vision of the UAE leadership and the broader goals of achieving a prosperous society, emphasising family stability, and enhancing sustainability.

The event’s panelists were Her Excellency Huda Al Hashimi, Deputy Minister of the Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs; His Excellency Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Senior Partner at Global Ventures; Lucy d’Abo, CEO Together; Omar Alkhan, Head of Centre for Business Studies & Research at Dubai Chamber of Commerce; and Dr. Saliha Afridi, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Founder of The Lighthouse Arabia.

The audience also heard from Her Excellency Sana Mohamed Suhail, Director General of Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), who said: “The insights presented in ‘The Rise of Parent-friendly Workplaces in the UAE’ report are a clear indication we are moving in the right direction towards creating enabling environments that support individuals to excel professionally and achieve work-life balance, which aligns with our wise leadership’s vision and the program’s objectives.”

“The report highlights a number of significant aspects of parent-friendly workplaces that not only benefit working parents and their children, but also deliver high-impact benefits to organisations and society.

“This resonates with ECA’s goals to promote the wellbeing of families as a holistic aspiration that positively impacts society and the economy now and, in the future, ultimately enhancing the lives of parents, children, and others alike.”

10 steps to becoming a parent-friendly workplace from the report

1. Embrace a Holistic Approach to Supporting Working Parents:

Adopt a comprehensive approach to parent-friendly support that goes beyond traditional benefits and parental leave. Consider flexible work arrangements, support networks, and mental health resources to create a well-rounded ecosystem for working parents.

2. Formalize Policies:

Document good parent friendly practice into formal policies. By formalizing these initiatives, organisations send a clear message of commitment to their workforce and set the foundation for sustained change, future-proofing the parent-friendliness of their workplace.

3. Embed Flexible Work Arrangements:

Acknowledge and promote flexible work arrangements as the norm, not the exception.

4. Invest in Nursing Facilities:

Recognize the importance of nursing facilities and hours for new parents. Doing this promotes inclusivity for working mothers and supports the well-being of mothers and infants.

5. Lead from the Top:

Foster a culture of inclusivity by equipping senior leaders and managers with the skills and awareness to advance and consistently apply parent-friendly policies. Provide ongoing training programs to empower leaders at all levels to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organisation.

6. Prioritize Manager Training at All Levels:

Place a strong emphasis on comprehensive training programs for managers at all levels, highlighting the significance of their role in implementing parent-friendly policies and influencing organizational reputation.

7. Listen, Monitor and Evaluate:

Implement a system for listening, monitoring and evaluating the needs of working parents and evaluating the design and effectiveness of parent-friendly policies regularly. This ensures that policies remain relevant and impactful.

8. Make Awareness and Transparency a Priority:

Foster transparent communication regarding the organization’s commitment to parent-friendly policies. Clearly communicate these policies to all employees, emphasising the benefits that are available to them.

9. Benchmark with Industry Leading Practices:

Stay informed about best practices in parent friendly workplaces such as those highlighted in this report.

10. Recognise that Parent-Friendliness is a Journey:

Whether your organisation has applied for the Label in the past, earned it, or is considering applying, remember that the journey does not end when you earn the Label, or when you don’t. Parent-friendly workplaces are committed to continuous improvement.

Join the Parent-friendly Label

The Parent-friendly Label program launched its third cycle on February 27, 2024. Eligible organisations are invited to take the first step to promote positive change by applying to earn the Parent-friendly Label™. The deadline to apply is September 2, 2024. 

Organizations eager to learn more about the PFL program or how to apply can contact Abu Dhabi Government Contact Centre on 800555, email the PFL team directly at or complete the online application form at