Ask any parent how they’re doing these days, they’ll probably answer ‘I’ve been having a rough time.” As a mother of a two year old with a second on the way, I can personally attest to this being my experience. Professionally speaking, I’m seeing this across the board as well. As the head of WeRaise PR, I work with many working moms who have been left behind by the lack of support (most notably lack of paid leave for new parents), and have had to find alternative career solutions in order to care for their families.

While there are many issues affecting parents today (no affordable childcare, limited access to reliable and safe food for our infants, general lack of resources available for breastfeeding parents to follow new AAP recommendations to name a few), perhaps the most profound is zero federally mandated paid leave for new parents. Disproportionately affecting women and people of color, a recent study shows 75% of moms would have their cash savings depleted after 8 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. This significantly affects the long-term wealth management for families while also increasing the wealth disparity between women and men. It also ultimately forces many women back into the workforce earlier than medically recommended.

Providing paid leave to employees shows a level of unmatched support for their physical and mental well-being at a difficult time in their lives, and studies show that employees who receive paid leave among other benefits like flexibility and sick time feel more loyalty to their employer and have increased morale. Businesses can simultaneously save quite a bit of money by investing in paid leave by reducing costs associated with employee turnover and increased efficiency among the team members who benefit from paid leave. This particular investment employers make in their workforce over the years allows them to keep the institutional knowledge and experience within their organization for the future.

Not sure how to structure this for your team? According to PL+US, good paid parental leave policy has the following qualities:

  • Equal – Available to all new parents, not just birth mothers. Include fathers, adoptive and foster parents in those who qualify for the benefit
  • Enough – Enough time for recovery and adjusting to the new normal of having a new baby is key. Most experts agree that a minimum of 12 weeks should be the offering.
  • Easy to use – Support your employees in utilizing the full benefits, and make it easy for employees to utilize by providing alternative resources to the rest of their teams to easily manage while employees are out.

Besides being a moral choice, it’s also an economic one. Offering paid leave for new parents may seem daunting, but will pay dividends in the long run. I’m proud of our generous paid leave program and all our flexible benefits we provide new parents here at SourceCode and WeRaise, and will continue to prioritize and support this facet of our workforce in the PR industry so no one has to choose between their career and their families.