Why Is Paid Family Leave, Paid Paternity Leave, and Flexible Schedules So Important for American Families?
Depending on their age and life stage, they may be seeking Paid Family Leave for parental leave, caregiving or both. Let's explore what is driving Paid Family Leave to the top of employees' wish lists. Why is every generation in the workplace looking for family-friendly employee benefits? Millennials, currently ages 23-38, are starting families or heading towards prime parenting years. Generation X is the classic “sandwich generation” — caring for both kids and aging parents. Boomers may also feel squeezed, between caring for spouses as well as very elderly family members or adult children. And even Gen Z is looking ahead to future family needs.
Empowering more dads with paid parental leave means they can achieve their professional goals and be supportive, nurturing fathers and partners.
Potential costs include the financing of payments made to workers on leave, other expenses related to periods of leave (e.g., hiring a temporary replacement or productivity losses related to an absence), and administrative costs. The magnitude and distributions of costs and benefits will depend on how the policy is implemented, including the size and duration of benefits, how benefits are financed, and other policy factors (Juliana Horowitz, 2017). An overview of paid family leave in the United States, summarizes statelevel family leave insurance programs, notes PFL policies in other advanced-economy countries, and notes recent federal legislative action to increase access to paid family leave.
As work and families change, America must respond in many ways.
Maya Rossin-Slater, Maternity and Family Leave Policy, NBER Working Paper no. 23069, 2017
Charles Baum and Christopher Ruhm, The Effects of Paid Leave in California on Labor Market Outcomes, NBER Working Paper 19741, 2013
Juliana Horowitz, Kim Parker, Nikki Graf, and Gretchen Livingston, Americans Widely Support Paid Family and Medical Leave, but Differ Over Specific Policies, Pew Research Center, March 2017