Benefits and Compensation

Paternity Leave Gaining Momentum in the Modern Workplace to Drive Business Performance

In the modern landscape of workplace policies and family-friendly benefits, paternity leave has emerged as a transformative, family-friendly tool for business performance. The inclusion of paternity leave in employee benefits packages is increasingly recognized as a strategic move that can drive business growth and success for companies, while recognizing the fundamental role that family plays in employees’ lives. With more and more companies struggling to attract and retain top-tier talent, it’s evident that family-friendly benefits, like paternity leave, are no longer a “nice to have” but a “must have” for company talent acquisition strategies.

Employers across the country are stepping up to prove that family-friendly IS business-friendly as we see more companies adopt family-friendly policies. The pandemic brought unprecedented challenges prompting employers across the country to innovate in implementing family-friendly policies. It turns out that those strategies worked really well, both for working parents and for businesses. Since the pandemic, we’ve entered what I like to call “the great shake out” as companies looked at what was working and assessed what would become a mainstay post-pandemic. Since then, we’ve seen the workforce transform as more companies implement family-friendly policies like flexibility, child care support, and parental leave.

The Business Benefit

Welcoming a new child has a profound impact on the lives of employees and their families, often placing working parents in a delicate balance between professional responsibilities and new family obligations. So, it’s an incredibly important time for companies to step up and help make this transition smooth for employees with benefits like parental leave that will drive loyalty and employee satisfaction. In fact, a report by McKinsey showed that paternity leave can increase employee engagement and retention.

Research on paid parental leave, including leave for dads, shows that it impacted productivity (89%), performance (91%), turnover (96%) and employee morale (99%), which are all critical aspects of overall business performance and success.

Research also shows that fathers who take paternity leave tend to return to work more motivated, which can positively affect their performance, productivity, and loyalty. On the flip side, the absence of adequate paternity leave can result in stress and decreased job satisfaction, potentially leading to turnover. Dove’s recent study shows that 69% of fathers would change their job to spend more time with their families, highlighting the significance of paternity leave in supporting employees’ well-being and fostering a supportive work environment that benefits both the individual and the organization.

Employers are making progress in addressing support for working parents, with a noticeable increase in the provision of paternity leave. Among our Best Place for Working Parents network, which are designated companies who have shown commitment to creating a family-friendly and business-friendly work environment, 62% of these organizations offered paternity leave in 2023 compared to just 44% in 2019, further demonstrating progress in this area.


Looking ahead to implementing paternity leave and other family-friendly benefits, we encourage companies to survey their employees to ensure the parental leave benefits they are implementing are impactful for their unique workforce. A short employee survey can help determine where your employees are on the caregiving and family-planning continuum and which parental leave arrangements would be most beneficial. From there, companies can work with your HR department or a consultant to implement the best version of those family-friendly policies that uniquely fit your workforce.

During implementation, we encourage companies to focus on creating a culture that has a positive association with paternity leave and encourages their employees to actually take paternity leave. Leadership can set a positive example by taking paternity leave themselves, signaling to employees that it’s not only accepted, it’s encouraged. This is important as 72% of men say they would have taken a longer parental leave if they had seen co-workers do so, highlighting the importance of leading by example.

Additionally, companies can explore flexible options for taking leave, such as distributing the time in a way that works best for their family and team, which may make taking paternity leave easier for many fathers. Many companies among our Best Place for Working Parents network offer this solution, easing the transition of paternity leave and supporting working fathers to enhance employee engagement.


Embracing paternity leave is not just about individual fulfillment; it is a strategic move that can lead to a more engaged and loyal workforce, ultimately driving long-term business success. When companies prioritize family-friendly benefits, they are investing in employee well-being and satisfaction, as well as overall business performance. Paternity leave, like other research-backed family-friendly policies, can be a valuable asset for business leaders seeking to gain a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining today’s top talent.

Sadie Funk is National Director of The Best Place for Working Parents and The Best Place for Kids!®. Sadie Funk is Director of Best Place initiatives, which are a collective of initiatives designed to uplift and empower the communities we live and work in by providing research, resources, and guidance.

The Best Place for Working Parents is a growing network of businesses across the U.S. dedicated to providing support for working parents through evidence-based strategies, proving that family-friendly is business-friendly. A public-private partnership, The Best Place for Working Parents offers a competitive designation that recognizes innovation across the top ten research-backed family-friendly policies that help working parent employees and boost employers’ bottom line. Businesses can qualify to become a Best Place for Working Parents business designation by taking the first-of-its-kind business online self-assessment. Learn more at

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