Great paid family leave policies are EQUAL.
Policies should apply equally to all employees (salaried, hourly, full-time, part-time, and subcontractors) and to all parents (birthing mothers as well as fathers, adoptive, foster, those who become parents via surrogacy and all other parents).
Note that a great policy does not include outdated distinctions of ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ caregiving that serve to perpetuate gender biases at home and in the workplace.
Great family caregiving policies include LGBTQ families and other non-traditional families by including chosen family in their benefit.
Great paid family leave policies provide ADEQUATE TIME.
Policies should meet the needs of new parents, and also go beyond parental leave to meet the needs of employees who need take time to provide family caregiving (caring for an aging parent, a spouse with cancer or other serious illness, etc). Companies ranging from Deloitte to AirBnB to Target have recently introduced caregiving leave for their employees. Paid leave should also include personal medical leave for one’s own serious illness.
Twelve weeks of paid parental leave and six weeks of family and medical leave is a minimum in order to meet the needs of employees at these critical times.
Great paid family leave policies are ACCESSIBLE.
Policies should be transparent and should be easily accessible for current and prospective employees.
Managers should be trained in the policy and be able to explain it accurately to their direct reports.
Companies should create a culture in which all employees feel able to use paid family leave fully, and ensure that no employee fears retaliation if and when taking leave.
Parental Leave: 24 weeks of paid parental leave for all new parents (paid at 100%). Short term disability runs concurrently. Policy applies to adoption, fostering and birth.
Family Caregiving Leave: 12 weeks of paid leave available for care of a seriously ill family member
Personal Medical Leave: 12 weeks of paid leave available to address an employee’s own serious illness (not including sick days)
Parental Leave: 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all new parents. In addition to these 12 weeks of paid leave, birthing mothers receive 8 weeks of short term disability (paid at 100%).
Family Caregiving Leave: 6 weeks paid leave available to care for a seriously ill family member
Personal Medical Leave: 6 weeks paid leave available to address an employee’s own serious illness (not including sick days)