Washington Post

THE UNDERRATED ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF PARENTS WHO WORK LESS

by Danielle Paquette / February 20, 2015

The term “family-friendly” in American culture stirs images of Old Navy sales, theme park Groupons and child-protected basement screenings of “The Lego Movie.” The White House is striving to change that soft connotation, connecting family-friendly workplace policies to a stronger labor force and economy. It comes just in time for election rhetoric: as the Upshot’s Nate Cohn points out, “the parent agenda” appears to an emerging focus for the Democratic party.

Work-life balance boosts businesses, according to this year’s Economic Report of the President, published Thursday. The annual report devoted 45 pages to family matters, which, the authors argue, will increasingly dictate America’s economic health as parental roles break and transform.

More than a third of American workers don’t get sick leave. Paid parental leave isn’t an option for millions. (Learn more about the disparities of paid leave here.)

And only 27 percent of businesses surveyed by the Families and Work Institute for the National Study of Employers allowed most  employees to set flexible hours.

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