A third of employers offer paid family leave, and more plan to do so soon
- According to a new survey, 32% of employers offer paid family leave programs. Of those that offer paid leave, most offer three weeks and permit employees to use that time to bond with a new child. The survey, conducted by The Standard Insurance Company and the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC), polled 320 employers.
- For those that don't offer paid family leave, 18% said they plan to include it in their benefits offerings this year; 33% hope to make such leave available in 2018 and 41% said that adding the benefits could take from three to five years.
- Employers also are contending with various state and local leave laws and proposals. Currently, three states have in-force legislation, two states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation that has yet to take effect, and 16 states have proposed legislation in their state legislatures, DMEC and The Standard report.
Paid family leave is undoubtedly an increasingly popular employment benefit. A WorldatWork study released in May offered similar findings to the DMEC/The Standard survey: that more than a third of U.S. employers offer paid family leave. And Amazon, Microsoft, Chobani and Deloitte made headlines when they added or expanded paid leave benefits in the past year.
In some cases, states and municipalities are out in front of companies but, as DMEC and The Standard noted, the proliferation of these laws are starting to cause compliance issues for businesses. This prompted some employers to ask Congress for "safe harbor" legislation to protect companies from being subject to multiple, varying mandates.
For now, employers with multiple locations will have to cope with multiple laws. And for those employers wondering whether they, too, should offer paid family leave as an employee benefit, The Standard recommends researching whether it would offer a competitive advantage in your given industry, whether your workforce wants and/or needs it, and whether it would complement your culture.