Paid family leave ranks as favorite work benefit
- Paid family leave tops all other workplace perks, according to a poll by Unum. Among the 1,227 working adults polled, 58% of all workers (and 64% of millennials) want paid family leave from their employers, ranking at the top of in-demand perks like flexible and remote work options (55%), sabbaticals (38%) student loan repayment assistance (35%), pet-friendly workplaces (15%), and pet insurance (15%).
- Unum said that while 88% of employers in a 2016 WorldatWork study thought they should offer paid family leave, a 2017 Pew Research Center survey found that paid family leave's accessibility varied across organizations and industries.
- One obstacle for employers that want to support paid family leave is the increasingly complicated nature of state and local law on the matter, Unum said.
Unum pointed out that the various state and local paid leave laws can be confusing and create compliance difficulties for employers. Thanks to this patchwork of laws, leave management complexity now extends beyond the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, experts said in a recent Disability Management Employer Coalition webinar. And as paid family leave gains traction, employers can expect more states and jurisdictions to adopt policies that they'll likely need to comply with.
Some say that millennials are driving the trend toward paid family leave policies. PwC discovered in employee surveys that millennials, in particular, were demanding flexibility in their lives and see paid family leave as a key part of the work-life balance they want and expect. PwC even extended its paid family leave policy by offering a phased return-to-work period to help new parents adjust to resuming their work schedules.
Paid family leave is shown to be a choice perk among job-seekers, which can give employers an edge in the competition for talent. A number of big-name retailers now offer paid family leave to hourly employees to attract job applicants and reduce the industry's high turnover rates. Employees have said in polls that they would leave their current employer for another with better flexible work benefits, likely including paid leave — giving employers more reason to take a second look at their current policy.
- Unum Caring Report