Most employers offer maternity leave to new mothers. It gives moms up to 12 weeks to rest and bond with the new baby or adopted child. Maternity leave isn’t just for moms, though. Dads need leave, too, for several important reasons.
How Much Leave Do Dads Get?
According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans in eligible workplaces can receive 12 weeks of unpaid leave. That leave can be used after the birth of a new child, after adoption and in certain other situations. FMLA is a federal guideline, but states and even employees can provide more leave for their employees.
Nine out of 10 dads take time off from work after the birth or adoption of a new child, but 70 percent of men take 10 days or less off work. Unfortunately, paid leave is only available to 13 percent of employees in the U.S.
Why Dads Need Paternity Leave
The stereotype of men working outside of the home and women doing all the housework and childcare is becoming outdated. More and more men want to take part in care giving. Companies that offer paternal leave give men the chance to take care of their families. Equal-gender leave policies also reinforce the view that men are as capable and responsible as women for the children and home life.
Why Moms Need Paternity Leave
Women make 74 cents for every dollar men earn. In addition to the wage gap, sometimes, mothers are prevented from taking certain positions or jobs because they have to care for children. When men take paternity leave, they become skilled at taking care of things at home and give women the freedom to take the jobs they want.
Why Businesses Need Paternity Leave
Men will stay with a job that allows them to have the life they want, which includes time with their families. Retaining quality employees is one reason why businesses need to offer paternity leave. It improves employee retention, loyalty, job satisfaction, happiness and productivity. Two popular companies with competitive paternity leave, large numbers of job applicants and high employee satisfaction include Netflix and Spotify, with unlimited paternity leave and six-month 100 percent paid paternity leave respectively.
How to Get Paternal Leave
If you company offers paternal leave, be grateful. If not, advocate for change. Lobby your state legislators to support a national paternal leave policy. You can also speak up at work about the need for leave and share the benefits of paternal leave with your employee. Paternal leave is good for families and companies.