All types of business owners have important responsibilities. No matter how large or small their company is, the senior leaders know that their top priority is to look after their employees. Thus, including parental leave as one of the perks in your benefits package is a smart way to go. In these trying times, it’s another way to improve your reputation and boost your team’s goodwill. It’s just good optics for your organization!
Does the Law Require Parental Leave?
Two significant factors influence the answer to this question. Those factors are how big your business is and where it is based. The matter of maternity and paternity leave falls under the category of labor law. The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA for short) maintains the basic criteria for the types of employees who qualify. When said employees are eligible, they are entitled to 12 weeks unpaid leave inside a 12-month stretch. The Department of Labor’s interpretation is that the law covers “all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees” at a federal level. Individual states, meanwhile, will have their own rules, regulations, guidelines, and by-laws. New Jersey provides paid family leave, which may not necessarily be true of other states.
The Costs Associated with Family Leave
Suppose that you decide to offer parental leave. What does this mean for your agency? After all, you aren’t obligated to do so. That said, it can definitely boost morale across the board. Happier employees perform better and are more motivated to be at the top of their game, so to speak. When an employee goes on leave, there is the specter of lost productivity. This means that there is some minor trade-off to having such a policy in place. Other associated costs include hiring a temp worker or intern to cover their workload and continually paying for their benefits while the employee is on hiatus.
Such Benefits are in High Demand
Regardless, there’s no question that parental leave benefits are in high demand. A survey conducted by BenefitsNews revealed that paid family leave narrowly beat out flexible work options (namely, remote work and telecommuting) as the benefit they wanted most. However, the survey excluded health insurance and retirement planning since those policies are assumed to be standard offerings.
Your Takeaway: The Way Forward
In short, you have four options:
- No parental leave at all
- Unpaid leave
- Paid leave
- Combined paid and unpaid leave
Financial considerations and company culture will ultimately determine the best course of action. Perhaps one solution is to ask your employees how they feel about their current compensation packages and go from there.
Our Latest Customer Testimonial
Our latest client testimonial comes from Marzieh Gheybi. Marzieh currently works for the University of Maryland and wants a primer on benefits education: “I have been a member of Aflac for years. I had an accident that I had to admit to hospital. The claim process was so easy and comfortable with Mr. William Fedo. I really appreciate his help.” Very nicely done, Will!
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Are you a business looking to provide your employees with essential voluntary benefits? If so, look no further than The MWE Partnership. When you choose The MWE Partnership, you get experienced service and comprehensive voluntary benefit options that will meet all your employees’ needs. With over 17 years of experience, The MWE Partnership is your one-stop shop for all your supplemental benefit needs. If you are interested in finding out how The MWE Partnership can help your business, contact us today! We encourage you to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for all the latest voluntary benefit news!