Should Companies Offer Paid P/Maternal Leave?Starting with pregnancy and the first few months of a child's life parents need to spend a lot of time with their new children to ensure healthy emotional, relational, physical, and mental developement. A steady caregiver's attention and support is crucial to children developing in a healthy way and becoming healthy adults who are ready to take on the world. It is in the government's best interest to support this process in the best way that they can. America is one of the only countries in the developed world where parental leave is not a guaruntee. The government does not need to shoulder this cost or have control over the programs, but they can require it as a part of company's coverage plans. Research shows that when this decision is "left to the employers" that 40% will not include paid parental leave. Mothers need time to recover after the incredibly intensive and traumatic experience that is childbirth and then the children need a parent's attention and support during the first few months of development.
A really cool study was done by the Institute of Women's Policy Research that found that "paid leave increases the likelihood that workers will return to work after childbirth, improves employee morale, has no or positive effects on workplace productivity, reduces costs to employers through improved employee retention, and improves family incomes. Research further suggests that expanding paid leave is likely to have economy-wide benefits such as reduced government spending on public assistance and increased labor force participation, which would bring concomitant economic gains, generating a larger tax base and increased consumer spending. At least one study, cited by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (2007) finds that paid leave for fathers helps to foster gender equity, both in the workplace and in the home, since it shortens leaves for mothers, increasing their job tenure and potentially their wage growth." What do you think? Should companies offer paid paternal leave to new parents?