Employers are keeping up with today’s family dynamics. Here’s how.
It’s long been a hot-button issue. Now parental leave has been making its way up the list of preferred benefits for employees.
Here’s our is a list of some advances in family leave trending throughout the U.S.
Extension of Parental Leave With Flexibility
“Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families,” announced Mark Zuckerberg after the birth of his daughter. The CEO took two months of parental leave.
This move led to the “The Zuckerberg Effect” which broke stereotypes when the CEO himself publicly took family leave, never wading in the importance of it while representing a sign of the changing times.
Netflix and Etsy are leading in the change by offering at least 6 months of paid parental leave, and others are following suit by offering benefits—such as flexible time off —to attract and retain employees.Back-To-Work Transitional Programs
Patagonia made a bold move when they relocated their Reno outlet store to expand their childcare facility.
“That we provide the Reno warehouse workers the opportunity of daycare as well as all other benefits is something I’m really proud of,” says Dean Carter, Patagonia’s Vice President of Human Resources.
“We could just operate as a corporate office and not worry about Reno and find talent there to pick and pack and drive forklifts. We’re just doing it because it’s the right thing to do.”
Patagonia also offers to send childcare professionals to assist their new parents on business trips and educational resources to first-time parents.
Universally Offered Paid Time Off and Flexible Time Off
The majority of Patagonia employees using on-site childcare are factory workers. Further proving that regardless of an employee’s position, their need for parental leave is equally vital.
Similarly, Starbucks and Amazon are now offering parental leave to all their employees. “These companies demonstrate to everyone (parental) leave isn’t just a white-collar need,” explained Simon Isaacs, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer of Fatherly. “Many of the parents at the lower end of the pay scale need this the most and rarely get it.”Today’s Fathers Want Parental Leave
As cover BOSS Josh Levs told us, “Whether the men of today had active fathers or not in their own lives, this generation is defining new ways to be a dad.”
Despite 89 percent of fathers wanting PTO, many fathers don’t take it for fear of job loss.
Regardless, there has been a significant increase in fathers taking parental leave, due to them now regarding it as crucial to be just as involved during a baby’s first months of life.
Crowdfunding Maternity Leave
While parental leave is rising in popularity, there are situations where even mothers don’t get it.
Because the government has not mandated parental leave, businesses continue refusing it with only 12 percent of private sector employees getting PTO.
As a result, many women have begun using crowdfunding websites to finance their own parental leave. Outsourcing Parental Leave Policies
The Huffington Post reported that Swedish music business Spotify offers full-time employees six months of parental leave globally, which they can take any time within the first three years of their child’s life.
Ikea—another Swedish business—also offers a newly expanded version of their parental leave. They offer their U.S.-based employees up to four months of paid parental leave, regardless of being full-time or part-time.
Despite PTO being synonymous with maternity leave in most countries, many are now offering general parental leave that includes fathers.
Japan and Korea are leading this new trend, but “Portugal, Norway, Luxembourg, and Iceland are also relatively generous in this regard, mandating about two months of leave or more for new dads,” reported Pew Research Center.
Cities and States Step Up
Paid parental leave is now being mandated by many states, cities, and private sectors across the U.S.
The federal Family Medical Leave Act has also led 14 states to pass measures expanding the act, while three other states now offer private workers partially paid parental leave.
Similarly, three other U.S. cities have recently fused paid sick leave with paid parental leave—a pattern making its way throughout the country—proving the issue is now at the forefront.
These trends show that businesses realize they can better succeed by supporting employees in the proper caretaking of their families. By doing so, not only does this encourage high-performing employees, but also establishes companies as a key element in the employee’s family stability.
It’s an exciting time as the relationship between families, employees, and business continues to evolve with the modern workplace.