10 Reasons Every Company Should Offer Paid Paternity Leave (And Every Father Should Take It)
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), nearly 90 million children under the age of one live in countries where their fathers are not entitled by law to “a single day of paid paternity leave.”
That statistic includes the United States, the only developed nation that doesn’t have a national paid parental leave law.(Four states—California, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, however, have enacted their own programs.)
More and more companies are picking up the slack. According to Mercer’s 2018 Survey on Absence and Disability Management, 40% of US companies who responded offer paid parental leave for both parents, up from 25% in 2015.
Which is a good thing. There is a large body of research showing that companies that offer paternity leave and encourage new dads to take it help break down traditional gender stereotypes, benefit families, and contribute to a culture of inclusion.
Looking to build a case at your company? Or, do you need to be persuaded to take paternity leave? Here are 10 research-based reasons why paid paternity leave benefits fathers, families, and employers.
Men want paid paternity leave.
1. The vast majority of US fathers (89%) say it is important for employers to provide paid paternity or paid parental leave, according to Boston College’s 2014 The New Dad report.
2. Seventy-three percent of dads think there is little workplace support for fathers. As a result, half of fathers say they missed important events in their children’s lives due to work.
3. 21% of men say they fear losing their jobs for taking full paternity leave.
Paternity leave benefits families.
4. The more paternity leave men take, the more women make. A study in Sweden showed that each additional month of parental leave taken by the father increases the mother’s earnings by approximately 7%.
5. Studies have shown that fathers who take longer leave are more engaged in their kids’ lives. This has demonstrable benefits: father involvement reduces the frequency of behavioral problems in boys and psychological problems in young women, and enhances cognitive development, while decreasing delinquency and economic disadvantage.
6. Fathers who take paternity leave do more housework. In Quebec households where men took advantage of parental leave benefits, their participation in household work was long after their leave period had ended.
7. More than two-thirds of fathers (69%) confirmed they would change jobs to spend more time with their children.
8. The vast majority of employers reported (89%) that paid family leave had either a “positive effect” or “no noticeable effect” on productivity. The same was true for profitability/performance (91%), turnover (96%) and employee morale (99%).
9. Mothers may be more likely to return to their employers when leave policies are equitable. Research shows that mothers also tend to return to work more quickly.
10. A supportive workplace is key to reaping the organizational benefits of paternity leave. 72% of men said they would have taken a longer parental leave if they had seen co-workers do so. Only 26% of managers, globally, encourage men to take leave.
|What can you do to support expanding paternity leave at your organization? Here are some tips.
Paternity Leave Tips for Individuals
Paternity Leave Tips for Managers
Paternity Leave Tips for Organizations
Do you have paternity leave tips you’d like to recommend? Please comment on our MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) discussion board and join the conversation.
Director, MARC (Men Advocating Real Change)
Jared is a Director in the Learning and Advisory Services Department where he supports on-going engagement opportunities for individuals who have participated in MARC (Men Advocating Real Change). Prior to joining MARC, Jared worked for Time Out Beijing magazine. He graduated from Truman State University and currently resides in New…