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Despite being one of the most advanced economies in the world, the United States remains the only high-income nation, and one of only eight countries globally, without a federal policy mandating paid leave for mothers. While some associate paid leave reform with adverse economic consequences, research increasingly suggests that paid family leave is a vital instrument for prosperity via increased workforce participation, happier and more productive employees, and stronger, healthier working-class families.

Paid Family Leave Key Stats

Benefits to Employees

54%

higher likelihood of wage increases in the year following a child’s birth for women who take leave

The prevalence of a “family-gap” – the disparity between the wages of mothers versus other working women – can be neutralized by the introduction of job-protected paid family leave. Allowing employees to prioritize their family following the birth or adoption of a child contributes to overall satisfaction and increases productivity and propensity to continue working after periods of leave.

Benefits to Employers

26%

lower likelihood of quitting a job for first time mothers with access to paid family leave

The absence of a federal guideline for paid family leave creates retention and turnover issues when employees inevitably take time away to care for their children or sick family members. Studies show that paid leave can be implemented with little to no cost to employers and actually benefits businesses by reducing training and hiring costs associated with staff turnover.

Benefits to Society

39%

lower likelihood of receiving public assistance in the year following a child’s birth among women who take paid leave

While paid family leave is shown to directly benefit both employees and their employers, there are also important societal benefits that can directly stem from paid leave reform; children are healthier with higher ceilings and fewer families require public assistance when paid leave is an option.

Legislative Paid Family Leave Toolkit

The key to strong community is strong families. This kit explains the details and why it is a winning issue from both a policy perspective and with public opinion.

Leadership Perspectives

I hear regularly from Hoosier parents about the challenges they face while caring for their newborn or adopted children and trying to stay connected to the workforce. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee’s Family Leave Working Group, I believe policymakers have the potential to produce bipartisan, fiscally responsible policies that better address the financial struggles of these families without placing unaffordable mandates on employers. Innovative solutions will support both families and our economy as a whole by ensuring young people have the flexibility to balance parenting and work.

Senator Todd Young

BLAIR MILO

Director | Center for Talent & Opportunity

JACKIE WALORSKI

U.S. Representative for Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District

MICHAEL LEPPERT

Lecturer, Kelley School of Business

Columnist, Indiana Capital Chronicle