Kerry Devine, who quit her job to stay at home with her child, told the New York Times that her decision was motivated by the short duration of the leave available to her. According to a study found in the Journal of Health Economics, more generous paid leave is found to reduce deaths among infants and young children. We have updated our cookie policy. Other countries have picked up on the importance of this benefit. Deciding to become a mom is a huge milestone in a woman's life. Multiple studies show that taking paid maternity leave benefits families. However, even the most complete state and corporate paid leave laws remain inadequate: Paid family leave offers clear advantages to both employers and families. Working mothers deserve to have ample time to care for their newborn children without having to worry about the negative impacts it could have on their careers and finances. All of these features can be used by employers and states right now to fill in the current glaring gaps in paid family leave coverage in the United States. Leave that is job-protected, guaranteeing employees of all backgrounds the right to return to work once leave has ended. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women aged 16 and older make up about 47% of the total labor force. According to a Department of Labor report, 30 percent of workers who take FMLA leave slip into credit card debt, and 15 percent wound up on public assistance. Yet even as new paid leave programs are established at all levels, American should keep in mind that no policy works in a vacuum. Paid maternal leave lowers the infant mortality rate. Yet even as new paid leave programs are established at all levels, American should keep in mind that no policy works in a vacuum. In due course, a national program may be possible. This means that new parents who rely on regular paychecks may struggle to make ends meet. How Helping Families with Ongoing Problems Can Prevent Child and Partner Abuse, Why Understanding Black Women's Beliefs about Motherhood Can Help Improve Reproductive Health Care, How Focusing on Teen Pregnancy as a Personal Moral Failing Deepens Social Inequality. Offering paid maternity leave would help new mothers bond with their children longer, and help them feel less stressed about finances. The study also found that women who return to work after a paid leave have a 39% lower likelihood of receiving public assistance and a 40% lower likelihood of food stamp receipt in the year following the child's birth, compared to those who return to work and take no paid leave at all. Researchers have found that California's program doubled the use of maternity leave, with particular increases noted amongst low-income and nonwhite women. While some companies in the United States offer great maternity leave options, they are many others that offer short, unpaid leaves, which can add unnecessary stress to a new working mother's life. Join Work It Daily today & get one step closer to achieving MAJOR career success. It also means working mothers would be less worried about their financial situation during leave. Only 12% of families have access to paid leave. Research from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that new mothers who took paid leave were significantly less likely to quit their jobs before or after the birth of their child. Research shows that paid family leave has a positive effect on infant and maternal health, reducing rates of infant mortality and stress and depression for mothers. In contrast, longer maternity leave leads to better mental health for mothers and prolonged breastfeeding for children (closer to the one year recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics). One study shows that each week of paid leave up to 12 weeks lowers the odds of a new mother experiencing postpartum depression symptoms. Among the world's most economically advanced countries, only one fails to mandate paid maternity leave: the United States. The U.S. doesn't have a federal policy on paid maternity leave. In due course, a national program may be possible. "I know for a fact, Leo would not have died that day if he had been with me," Surratt told Slate. Researches have found that paid maternity leave helps women’s wages because of the aforementioned retention rate. weeks of maternal leave, as suggested by a 2014 International Labor Organization report. However, something a lot of working women struggle with once they decide to become mothers is whether or not they will be offered paid maternity leave, and whether or not they should take it. Benefits Low-Income and Women of Color the Most, Increases the Number of Women in the Workplace, Keeps Families Economically Self-Sufficient. The International Labor Organization recommends a wage replacement rate for maternity leave at two-thirds of workers' wages. Rights to three months of paid family leave for both parents and childless workers, time that can be taken throughout a child’s or family member’s life for unforeseen circumstances. Research shows that paid leave also has health benefits for new mothers. Many categories of workers have no access at all to paid family leave, including those in contract work and individuals working irregular hours or in temporary work situations. There's more evidence, too. So, if offering paid family leave can help create loyal employees, why wouldn't the United States want implement a nationwide policy? The study also shows that the United States ranks last in the list of countries that have national family-friendly policies. By offering a comprehensive nationwide paid maternity policy, the United States would drastically help nearly half of their labor force. According to the 2017 World at Work survey, 38 percent of respondents are offered paid parental leave. That’s why maternity leave is so important– it’s a time entirely devoted to transitioning to the parental role. Maternity leave can help reduce risk of postpartum depression, according to a University of Maryland study. It's an understandable trend: women who feel supported by their employers are likelier to want to keep working for the same company. Yes, while women in Argentina, Mongolia, and Sweden are guaranteed months of paid leave to take care of infant children and recover from delivery, American women often have to head back to work before they or their children are ready. California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York have paid leave laws. To fill parts of the gap left by the 1993 unpaid leave law, many large corporations and some states have implemented their own paid leaves. Ideally, family leave policies should be sensitive to the changes in work and families. As work and families change, America must respond in many ways. While some companies in the United States offer great maternity leave options, they are many others that offer short, unpaid leaves, which can add unnecessary stress to a new working mother's life. If you're a working mom looking to make a career change, or a new mom looking to get hired, we can help! A Joint Economic Committee report by the United States Congress found that women who return to work after taking maternity leave are 40 percent less likely to receive public assistance in the year after giving birth, compared to women who continue to work without taking leave. This requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for mothers of newborn or newly adopted children. Working fathers also face similar situations as working mothers when it comes to paid leave in the U.S. That inconsistency serves as evidence that there is a HUGE need for a federal maternity leave policy in the United States. Keeping babies alive is a pretty damn good reason to support paid leave if you ask us. Join Work It Daily today & get one step closer to achieving MAJOR career success. A study published in the journal PLoS Medicine found that every additional month of maternity leave was associated with a 13 percent reduction in infant mortality. A 2014 study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that paid family leave helps employers because it can increase employee morale, productivity, and labor force attachment once new parents (particularly mothers) return to work.