Did you know that 61% of Americans believe that employers should offer paid parental leave and 21% believe it should be offered on a state or federal level? One might think that this overwhelming support would result in paid parental leave for the vast majority of US workers. The truth, however, will surprise you…
- According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 17% of workers in the United States have access to paid parental leave.
- Of the 193 countries in the United Nations, New Guinea, Suriname, some South Pacific island nations and the United States are the only ones that do NOT have a national paid parental leave law.
- The US is the ONLY developed nation without mandated paid parental leave. Whether or not to offer paid parental leave is at the discretion of the employer.
Why are Elevate K-12 Employees Among the 17%?
Elevate K-12’s mission to improve the educational outcomes of students across the US (through live streaming instruction!) extends beyond the work that we do in schools.
The company recognizes that those early experiences in life help to shape the whole child and impact future educational outcomes. Studies have shown that the time spent as a family during parental leave can lead to positive cognitive and behavioral outcomes for these future students.
In addition to educational benefits, the company recognizes the financial and physical benefits of paid parental leave:
- A steady income coupled with time off makes it more likely that infants will receive the proper medical care necessary for healthy development. In fact, in a study of 141 countries, the infant mortality rate decreased by 10% with paid parental leave.
- Paid parental leave has been associated with a decrease in postpartum depression.
- It allows women to remain in the workforce.
- Families are less likely to need public assistance when they are given paid parental leave.
- When an employer respects the need for parents to put their families first, they help decrease the wage gap by allowing parents to return to work without penalty after a leave.
In a perfect world, all employers would offer their employees the time to bond, recover, and adjust to a new baby. Parents would not fear the isolation of returning to a workplace culture that does not support families. Unfortunately, for most Americans, this is not the reality. It is at Elevate K-12! In the next round of posts, we’ll talk more specifically about some Elevate K-12 employees and their parental leave experiences. Stay tuned!