In the News: The Economics of Parental Leave

We know that it’s important that parents have enough time to bond with and care for children, but the situation isn’t always that simple. Especially not when the realities of working parents and family finances come into play.

  • In a recent segment on Morning Edition, working mothers and paid-leave advocates discussed the complex work-family conflicts facing many parents, often mothers especially. In her statements, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner of MomsRising noted that a lack of maternity leave often forces women into unemployment and makes it much harder for them to return to the workforce later, while one mother shared her story of losing her job after having to take time off to care for a sick child. [NPR]
In contrast, one Australian company has taken a pro-active approach to helping new mothers better balance work and family.

  • Insurance Australia Group offers both a 14-week paid maternity leave and a “welcome back” bonus that provides double pay for a woman’s first six weeks back after maternity leave. Not only does this policy remove some of the financial strain that new parents face, the company’s chief executive explains that it also helps makes the company an “employer of choice for mothers and families” and reduces employee turnover. [Yahoo! Shine]
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