- Staying home from work for family reasons is getting easier for employees, according to an article at USA Today.
- Tech companies Microsoft and Netflix made headlines this week for significant improvements to paid parental leave policies, but it's part of a larger trend, according to USA Today.
- Recent data shows that, in general, paid leave policies are on the rise. That includes paid sick, family and maternity leave, and time beyond the 12 weeks of unpaid leave required each year by the Family Medical Leave Act, according to a report from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).
The USA Today article cites the SHRM study, conducted in March, which found that the percentage of companies that offer paid maternity leave is still very low, at 21%. But it is a jump from the 12% of companies that offered paid maternity leave at about the same time in 2014, Evren Esen, director of survey programs at the organization, told USA Today.
The percentage of companies that provided paid sick leave rose to 42% from 33% of companies in 2014, while companies offering paid family leave went from 19% to 27%.
Millennials may be part of the reason for the changes, Lindsey Pollak, Millennial workplace expert for The Hartford, told USA Today. In a Millennial leadership survey out last year, The Hartford found that the number one thing the age group would change about the workplace is work/life balance.
More broadly, overall workplace benefits are experiencing a significant shift across the country as the economy improves and competition for employees increases, Esen told USA Today. While data show overall employee benefits have remained largely the same between this year and last year, employers are emphasizing particular benefits more than in the past, such as financial and wellness education.