The United States is notorious for being one of the worst countries for work-life balance. And one reason may be that we’re lagging grossly behind the rest of the world in parental leave policies.
Indeed, we are only one of a handful of countries worldwide that does not guarantee paid maternity leave.
Some larger employers like Facebook and Netflix have made headlines recently with their liberal paid parental leave policies, and part of the reason behind the hype is the many other companies that don’t offer family leave options to their employees.
What have other countries caught on to that makes parental leave policies so popular and successful with employees? The answer is obvious. Offering paid parental leave is beneficial to both employees and employers alike, and here are four categories of research to prove it:
1. Parents face workplace stigmas.
It’s not uncommon for working mothers and fathers to anticipate being judged or alienated by managers and peers for taking time off after having a baby. That fear is not ungrounded, either. In fact, the belief that men shouldn’t take paternity leave is so strong that 20 percent of companies required by law to offer paternity leave do not, according to the 2014 National Study of Employers conducted by the Families and Work Institute.
Not only is parental leave a compliance issue for employers, but when employees don’t feel supported by their leaders and peers to take it, job satisfaction and performance suffer.
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