Paid Family Leave is a No-Brainer

Kylie Quetell Benefits, Compensation/Cash Money, Corporate Social Responsiblity, Employee Engagement, employee experience, Employee Relations, Uncategorized

As you begin reading this article, imagine a place where babies are born into the world by mothers and fathers that might want to spend a little bit of time with the newborn. 

Just a few weeks though, nothing wild. 

Crazy, right? 

You would think so when you look at federal policy that protects the rights of working parents, and also at private organizational policies. Here’s the skinny on the policies: 

  • There is no federal policy requiring paid family leave.
  • There are FMLA rights that do secure the job for up to 12 weeks, however it is unpaid. 
  • In order to qualify for unpaid FMLA rights, your employer must have more that 50 employees, as well as other restrictions – leaving these FMLA rights available to only 60% of the work force.
  • California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, D.C. (and soon Washington state) mandate paid leave. 

There is a disconnect between what American workers want and what they get.In a world of 4% unemployment, perhaps it is time we start paying attention if we want to retain our employees. Just because there is unemployment, does not mean there is job satisfaction. Jobvite found that 59% of employers who work part time are looking for full-time work, so if you are lucky enough to be able to create the policies at your organization, it’s not too late! What do we want? 

Lucky for American workers – private organizations are warming up the idea of paid parental leave. According to an article by Anne Stych, companies who offer paid family leave for both birthing and non-birthing parents is up 15% in the last 3 years (from 25% to 40%, respectively). 40% is not good enough. 

One reason why companies aren’t generous in their paid family leave may be due to fear of financial loss. Luckily, the Center for Economic and Policy Research dove in to California’s paid family leave. This blog post is not an argument for California’s system, because it is certainly not perfect. However, it’s a start. Here’s what they found:

  • 89% of employers responded that Paid Family Leave had either a positive effect or no noticeable effect on Productivity. 
  • 91% of employers saw no noticeable effect or a positive effect on Profitability and Performance
  • 92.8% saw no noticeable effect or a positive effect on Employee Turnover
  • 98.6% of employers reported no noticeable effect or a positive effect on Employee Morale.

So, what did we learn? People want paid family leave. It doesn’t typically hurt an organization’s bottom line to provide it. The US government is behind in their policy creation. People want spend a few weeks with their babies. 

Seems like a no-brainer to me.