The United States is still one of the only developed nations that doesn’t federally mandate some sort of paternity leave for new fathers or domestic partners. And where new fathers or domestic partners are eligible for paternity leave, it’s usually only available for around 2 weeks and doesn’t provide eligible employees with their full rate of pay and other benefits while they’re on leave.
As you’re developing or updating your benefits packages for your employees over the next year, here are three benefits of offering more inclusive paternity leave you’ll want to consider.
1. You’ll Attract and Retain More Millennials
Millennials now make up the largest generation in the workforce, and they’re starting to have families. Millennial families are much more likely to have a spouse or partner who works compared to Baby Boomers, and they are starting to think of more inclusive paternity benefits as a main priority.
Research highlighted in an article published in The New York Times found that 83% of American Millennials would be more likely to join a company offering more comprehensive paternity benefits, and 38% of Millennials said they’d even leave the United States altogether to gain better paternity benefits.
2. You’ll Improve Workplace Engagement and Satisfaction
Studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and reports released by the White House have confirmed that offering paid paternity leads to happier parents, which leads to a happier workplace. And a happier workplace includes more productive employees who have greater job satisfaction and wind up remaining more loyal and dedicated to their employers.
Additionally, research shows that implementing more inclusive paternity programs does not cost a company extra money and that it paves the way for more opportunities for women in the workplace. And overall, companies have lower turnover rates when they offer more inclusive paternity leave.
3. You’ll Contribute to the Good of Everyone
This sounds like a hokey statement at first, but research highlighted by the DOL shows that when employers offer more inclusive paternity leave benefits, men become more invested in the development of their children early on in life. And those children have fewer behavioral problems, improved cognitive development, and better mental health outcomes.
Also, other research has found that about 15% of people who were not paid or who received only partial pay while on some sort of parental leave turned to public assistance for help. So, when parents invested in a child’s development and care aren’t offered adequate assistance and compensation, the parents either return to work too soon, which hinders a child’s development, or end up unable to make ends meet and become a drain on public assistance programs and the economy.
Ultimately, there have been no extensive or negative consequences reported regarding employers that offer more inclusive paternity leave benefits. So, consider the three benefits of offering more inclusive paternity leave listed above as you’re developing your benefits packages.