Why Is Paid Family Leave, Paid Paternity Leave, and Flexible Schedules So Important for American Families?
And even Gen Z is looking ahead to future family needs.
Paid parental leave for fathers, as well as for mothers, provides a real advantage to working families. Despite these advantages, fathers still face economic and social barriers that keep them from taking longer paternity leaves, such as inadequate access to paid leave and outdated workplace norms about male breadwinners. Here in the United States where parental leave is already too rare, social and cultural biases along with gaps in policy make fathers even less able to access time away from work for their children. Paid paternity leave is less likely to be offered by employers than maternity leave, and may not always be taken even if offered. For two-dad families, and the increasing number of fathers who are serving as stay at home parents, addressing this unequal access and uptake is particularly important. Workers often face tension in balancing their roles as workers and parents, since there can be adverse consequences to prioritizing family over work or work over family. Empowering more dads with paid parental leave means they can achieve their professional goals and be supportive, nurturing fathers and partners.
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