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Employee Benefits

Before You Pull the Plug on Parental Leave, Take Note

September 13, 2022

Although FMLA mandates unpaid leave, paid parental benefits are an attractive but not universally offered benefit. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 18% of private-sector employees had access to paid family leave in 2018. While we have seen more employers implementing paid leave in a post-pandemic environment, the latest data suggests the tide is turning.

In the recent SHRM 2022 Employee Benefits Survey, 82% of employers ranked leave benefits as very important. However, when it comes to offering paid parental leaves, the data suggests that employers are not prioritizing it as they once were.

  • 35% of employers are offering paid maternity leave beyond what is legally required – down 18% from 2020.
  • 33% of employers are offering paid paternity leave – down 11% from 2020.

There is a plethora of reasons why many employers are dialing back their offering of paid parental leaves. Labor shortages, inflation, anticipated economic recession, and remote work status have and will continue to impact what employers choose to prioritize as components of their benefits package. Before making any benefit modifications, particularly a change to paid leave offerings, it is essential to consider what is necessary to stay competitive in a tight labor market.

Considerations Regarding Parental Leave

Before you choose to add (or eliminate) parental leave, you will need to consider the following:

  • What do employees need, want, and/or value when it comes to paid time off?
  • Do your industry peers/competitors offer parental leave as a part of their total rewards comp and benefits package?
  • Does your organization prioritize family-friendly benefits and perks as a component of the culture?
  • How much time off will you provide for parental leave?
  • Can parental leave be taken part-time?
  • Will parental leave include partial or full pay?
  • What eligibility requirements will you have?

Hylant offers leave management consulting services to help employers benchmark and navigate trends and resources in leave and absence management. Reach out to Joy Sanders or your Hylant representative to learn more.

Authored by

Joy Sanders

Joy Sanders

Absence & Leave Management Practice Leader

Joy brings 10 years of experience of working in the human resources field. Joy uses a consultative approach to understand current business processes, challenges, wants and needs. Focusing on market research and trends, she is determined to seek out vendors/carriers with enhanced technical capabilities, superior client service and an integrated solution offering.

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