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Parental leave remains strangely controversial in corporate circles, but has gained considerable traction as a trending topic of discussion in recent years. Readers and business leaders might be surprised to know that the United States is behind the curve when it comes to policies that relate to providing paid leave to new parents. In a nation where social freedom is the one of the tenets of cultural identity, in many cases, workers who choose to have children are effectively penalized for their decision by having their wages reduced or stripped entirely.

So, what does the research say about instituting parental leave policies? Unequivocally, in short, all parties involved stand to benefit from it. The recruiters at Headfarmer share the details.

It Benefits the Children

Paid parental leave is much more than a modern convenience for caretakers. In fact, research shows that having parents present in the first few months “contributes to fewer low birthweight babies, fewer infant deaths, as well as increased long-term achievement for children. It is no surprise that children stand to benefit from parental presence, but the effects of this presence last long into adulthood. Along with being more likely to receive health care visits and immunizations, children whose parents receive paid parental leave grow up to be mentally healthier and more economically successful.

It Benefits the Parents

A parental leave policy offers both a financial gain and a needed pause for parents to spend quality time with their new children. However, there are a host of other tangible benefits that have been consistently observed in such cases. For one, it drastically helps family dynamics. McKinsey & Company found that fathers who received paid parental leave reported better relationships with their partners as a result, and children established lasting bonds with their fathers during this time. Most respondents also noted that family finances were better as a result of paid family leave. In addition, parental leave also positively affected the mother’s career by having her partner present. Unsurprisingly, 100% of fathers surveyed said they were glad they took parental leave and would happily do so again.

It Benefits the Employer

Since parental leave undeniably creates healthier, more successful, and more satisfied families, employers should feel convicted to present it based on those reasons alone. However, people who are less stressed and feel more valued by their company also perform better and retain their position at the firm for longer. Extending parental leave is not just a moral move, but a prudent business move as well. Along with allowing parents to return refreshed and happy, employers stand to create a positive atmosphere and increase morale. Both are extremely valuable forces in an extremely tight labor market. With dozens of countries ahead of the U.S. in family leave policy, your firm could be a trendsetter with this initiative, which could help entice strong new talent.

Discover More Industry Insights from Headfarmer

For the past 10 years, our recruitment professionals have had a finger on the pulse of the job market. If you are in need of top-tier talent for your business, we will make a purposeful investment in you. We get to know your situation and source the best candidate for your company’s needs. People are your most important asset. We approach our candidate searches with that truth in mind. We work tirelessly to make sure every client finds the right fit for their goals and company culture. To discover more workplace and job market insights, explore our blog here, or contact us at 480-214-9704 or​

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