Of the 185 countries and territories with information available, 183 provide women paid parental leave according to a report by the International Labour Organization. Can you guess the two “holdout” countries for paid parental leave? Papua New Guinea and the United States. On a related note, this same report cites the United States as the country that mandates the shortest time off of the 41 other developed countries. This is an easier question: What is that period of time? 12 weeks.
Another way to evaluate the situation is through a study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Mothers are entitled to 17 weeks of paid parental leave, on average, in the 34 OECD countries (generally advanced countries) as well as seven additional EU countries.
The only OECD country without a national law that provides that benefit is the United States.
Companies with Paid Parental Leave Is a Rarity in the United States
Twelve percent. That is the percentage of private sector employees that have access to paid parental leave according to the Department of Labor.
However, not all is gloomy. Businesses that provide paid parental leave are relatively generous. The Society for Human Resource Management finds the following:
- On average, female employees took 41 days of paid maternity leave.
- Male employees took 22 days of paid paternity leave, on average.
- On average, employees took about 31 days for paid adoption leave.
- Employees took about 36 days paid surrogacy leave, on average,
As you can see above, companies have started to extend paid parental leave to fathers. Benefits Pro believes this policy accomplishes two very worthwhile goals.
- It addresses gender disparities in the workplace.
- It provides time off to same-sex couples after adoption or the birth of a child.
But these two benefits just scratch the surface when it comes to the overall advantages of paid parental leave.
Benefits of Paid Parental Leave
The Department of Labor provides numerous reasons why more companies should look into paid leave.
- It can increase female labor force participation.
- When work provides great support systems, employees are less likely to rely on public benefits.
- It improves child health outcomes, including: increased birthweight, decreased premature births, and decreased infant mortality.
- Paid leave encourages men to serve as caregivers.
- It increases worker retention.
- Paid leave reduces worker turnover.
- It saves businesses the cost of replacing workers.
Several Companies That Offer Paid Parental Leave
As more and more employees start to voice their opinions about the importance of work-life balance, one day paid parental leave may be found next to benefits such as 401(k) and health insurance. Until that day arrives, here are some of the companies that may be considered ahead of the curve with respect to paid leave.
- Netflix offers salaried mothers and fathers up to one year 100% paid parental leave. This policy applies to adoptive parents as well. In 2016, hourly workers could also take fully paid parental leave but only up to 12 to 16 weeks.
- Chobani will offer six weeks of fully paid parental leave in 2017. This option is for moms and dads with a newborn. It also includes those who adopt or foster a child.
- Amazon offers mothers four weeks of paid leave before delivery and 10 weeks afterwards. An additional six weeks of paid parental leave is available for new mothers and fathers with over a year of service.
- Stonyfield offers mothers up to six months paid maternity leave.
- Hilton paid leave covers hourly and salaried employees. Mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents are eligible for two weeks of fully paid parental leave. Mothers are eligible for additional eight weeks of fully paid maternity leave.
The Growth of Paid Family Leave
Since 2010, family paid leave is up 20 percent in the private sector. As the competition for skilled workers continues to grow, companies, mostly larger companies, see paid leave as an additional compensation package that enhance the chances of landing excellent employees.