The United States does many things well, but one place where we’re missing the mark is paid parental leave. The U.S. is 1 of only 4 countries that does not offer federally mandated paid parental leave to anyone. We’re the only industrialized country to offer zero weeks of paid leave for new mothers. And 70 percent of fathers who take parental leave average ten days or less.
Even if the government doesn’t enact a law, that doesn’t mean that the issue should go unnoticed. Because offering parental leave is just good for business.
This infographic from Jobvite and our friends at ColumnFive Media offers some insight about parental leave benefits. The graphs that show the employer assessment of paid family leave by company size are worth noting. Paid parental leave helps improve morale, maintain productivity, and decrease turnover. All part of employee engagement and huge concerns for businesses.
The other thing I noticed about this infographic is that the benefits are not limited to a certain company size. I remember reading an article last year from the Great Place to Work Institute that said the 100 Best Companies to Work For average 68 days off for maternity leave. That might leave the reader with the impression that paid leave is only for big companies. But then I see an article in Fast Company about a start-up that offers paid maternity leave.
This conversation is starting to heat up for U.S. businesses. Organizations need to realize that paid parental leave will be a key differentiator for attracting and retaining candidates and employees. Then decide what side of the conversation they want to be on to compete for talent.1