- In 2022, the number of organizations offering paid maternity leave to employees dropped to 35% from 53% in 2020, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
- There is currently no federal paid leave program, and only 11 states plus the District of Columbia offer this benefit.
- However, there may be other options for uninsured employees, experts say.
Following an increase in paid parental leave during the pandemic, many companies are now cutting or reducing popular employee benefits.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the number of organizations with paid maternity leave has dropped to 35% in 2022 from 53% in 2020. interview. And less than one-third, 27%, now provide paid parental leave, up from 44% in 2020.
“Many of these firms are now trying to return to pre-pandemic norms,” said Michelle Long, a political analyst at the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation.
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During the pandemic, many companies expanded offerings beyond what is required by state law, Long said, but now “wallets have shrunk” due to changes in the economy.
There is currently no federal paid leave program, and only 11 states plus the District of Columbia offer benefits, usually funded through payroll taxes. data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“This is a very, very expensive proposition, especially for small and medium-sized companies,” said Johnny Taylor Jr., president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, explaining that some firms may pay wages to an employee on vacation. and replacement at the same time.
However, as the labor market softens, “the game is changing a bit,” he said, and companies are cutting back on previously-enhanced paid parental leave policies.
Whether you’re an existing employee or considering job offers, it’s important to know the details of your company’s parental leave policy if you’re planning to grow your family, Taylor says.
“There is often a temptation to take the job with the highest pay without taking things like paid vacation into account,” he said. If you’re interviewing, ask for a brief overview of the company’s full benefit package, he suggested.
While using parental leave is another option, he urged parents-to-be to weigh the pros and cons before cutting back on paid holidays for the year.
“Carrying a new baby is not a vacation,” Taylor said. “If you spend all your vacation time on this, you’ll burn out.”
Expectant parents may also consider negotiating benefits or separate paid leave, suggested Nicole Sullivan, a certified financial planner and co-founder of Prism Planning Partners in Libertyville, Illinois.
“Full understanding and coordination of all company benefits is another important help — things like flexible spending or dependency accounts and medical benefits,” she said.
“Many companies open for benefits in November, so this is a good time for parents and parents-to-be,” Sullivan added.
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