08/20/16 By Jennifer Brown

The Benefits of Paid Parental LeaveOrganizations that support time-off for employees tend to see higher productivity, satisfaction, and retention. However, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) only about 12% of private sector employers offer some form of paid parental leave. Why is something that can impact a company so positively not more widespread around the country? Fortunately, this year we have seen a trend with well-known companies (Facebook and Netflix to name a few) breaking the mold on paid parental leave – paving the way for more to follow suit. If your company is considering offering paid parental leave, here are a few benefits to consider:

Happier, Less Stressed Employees
Without paid leave, many employees cannot afford to take unpaid leave because of the loss of income that comes with it (at a time when they need money the most considering babies are expensive!). In addition, many find they end up having to cut their leave short due to the financial and workplace pressures to return to work as soon as possible. When employers offer paid leave, this takes some of the pressure off the new mom or dad – allowing them to settle into their new role as parent without the added stress of paying the bills or returning to work too soon. This way, your employee will return refreshed and ready to contribute – not stressed and worn out.

Loyal Employees
Supporting a work-life balanced culture increases your employee’s organizational loyalty. States such as California and New Jersey have enacted paid parental leave policies over the last year – reporting positive or neutral effects related to retention and turnover. That translates into cost savings associated with replacing and training new employees.

Supporting the Cultural Shift
One of the most notable shifts of the paid parental leave movement is the inclusion of men. In the past, maternity leave was reserved for women and new fathers were not encouraged to take time off to care for their new child. Times have certainly changed! Today, men are more involved in the day-to-day caregiving for their children and a paid parental leave policy supports this cultural shift. Paid parental leave encourages men to take leave and serve as caregivers, which has a number of positive effects for the family dynamic.

Structuring a paid parental leave policy involves managing costs, workloads, and policy details that fit your organizational needs. Although this may take some legwork and creativity upfront, you will reap the benefits down the road—definitely, something to consider.

Looking to implement a paid parental leave policy? Email us or give us a call at 703-587-5615. We partner with clients like you each day to design and implement workplace policies that benefit employees and the organization as a whole. We can do the same for you.