Federal policy toward a branch of law, sociology, and health care is often the key to a high quality of life. For the family institution, federal support is an opportunity to strengthen attitudes and create a safe environment for children to develop. Yet this institution is currently sagging in the U.S. because there is still no policy for providing paid parental leave. Introducing such a policy could significantly change the family institution and have a favorable effect on the working and family relations of the population.
Impact of the Lack of Federal Policy
The lack of a federal family policy restricts the population’s ability to work and build families. Existing legislation prevents families from earning an income while caring for a child and another candidate could potentially replace the position. And it is the female population that suffers the most due to the glass ceiling already struggling to obtain such leaves. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been in place since 1993 but only offers unpaid terms. Due to this, families cannot care for a child independently because they have to work to maintain earnings. In addition, the FMLA has significant eligibility restrictions that do not include the entire population (Family and medical leave, 1996). As a result, many families find themselves without the support and sacrificing time that could have been spent on a child.
Although this law is the main one that impacts families, minimum wage and tax credit laws also prevent families from living life to the fullest with a child. In addition, the guarantees provided for low-income families are insufficient for quality care, and no minimum wage is even enough to support one adult child (Raub et al., 2018). As a result, children do not receive care, education, or health care. The absent federal policy thus destroys the chances for the regular and comprehensive development and uplift of the young population and their families.
Impact of Paid Parental Leave
Implementing a federal paid parental leave policy can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in several areas – poverty, health, gender equality, work, and inequality. Putting policies into practice can equalize perceptions of the roles of mothers and fathers in the workplace and reduce discrimination. In addition, paid leave will improve a woman’s economic performance (Heymann et al., 2017). A steady income will strengthen the family from within and preserve the relationship between employees and employers, and resignation rates will decrease.
The adults are often the nannies for their children’s children. Because of their age, such workloads can adversely affect their health, and hiring young parents will stop the development of chronic illnesses. At the same time, young parents will be able to balance their influence on the child: it is noted that fathers with paid leave are more willing to take care of their children even after they leave work (Heymann et al., 2017). It is reported in the report on social support for parents: that almost ¼ of the respondents believe that their marriage would continue with paid leave (Petts et al., 2020). In addition, mothers’ employment after paid leave becomes more tied to the labor market, forcing them to continue working (Bergemann & Riphahn, 2022). Children would also benefit from such a policy: there would be a decrease in infant mortality and an improvement in child health outcomes (Heymann et al., 2017). Consequently, the introduction of a paid leave policy can positively impact every member involved in child care at this stage.
Impact of Paid Parental Leave on Business and Competitiveness
The granting of paid leave guarantees parents that they will have the opportunity to develop soft skills even while taking care of a child. Providing opportunities to continue participating in work processes even indirectly allows parents to stay in tone (Bergemann & Riphahn, 2022). In addition, businesses can grow further because the employer will know that parents will return to work after their children are better adjusted. In the absence of pay, parents are forced to seek outside sources of income that cause disengagement from past work (Raub et al., 2018). Consequently, they are less likely to return to the job that did not provide them with a level playing field. Paid leave can affect the rate of return to work (Heymann et al., 2017). People are likely to be more likely to keep their jobs, and consequently, the competitiveness of the business will be increased by stability.
Arguments for the Paid Parental Leave
First, it would create a bond between parent and child: Having a paycheck would allow parents not to worry about finding a job and spending time with their children. Secondly, it will reduce the statistics of homeless children and children placed in foster care. Parents will be able to take care of the child, and it will be less of an unbearable burden on the family. Third, it will reduce the gender gap and eliminate the glass ceiling. Parents will be equally able to take on child care, and employers will be less likely to use women to lower wage costs.
In summary, implementing paid leave policies in the U.S. will significantly improve current gaps between social classes and help eliminate health problems in children. In addition, it is expected to close the gender gap and keep employees in jobs regardless of gender with adequate pay. Business processes are also likely to evolve because parents will retain the opportunity to apply their skills after leaving. Consequently, these actions will affect national competitiveness because young families will be more willing to return to the workplace.
Bergemann, A., & Riphahn, R.T. (2022). Maternal employment effects of paid parental leave. Journal of Population Economics. Web.
Family and medical leave. Rules and regulations. 5 CFR Parts 630 & 890 RIN 3206–AH 10. (1996). Web.
Heymann, J., Sprague, A.R., Nandi, A., Earle, A., Batra, P., Schickedanz, A., Chung, P. J., & Raub, A. (2017). Paid parental leave and family wellbeing in the sustainable development era. Public Health Review, 38(21). Web.
Petts, R. J., Carlson, D. L., & Knoester, C. (2020). If I [Take] Leave, Will You Stay? Paternity Leave and Relationship Stability. Journal of social policy, 49(4), 829–849. Web.
Raub, A., Nandi, A., Earle, A., Chorny, N. G., Wong, E., Chung, P., Batra, P., Schickedanz, A., Bose, B., Jou, J., Franken, D., & Heymann, J. (2018). Paid parental leave: A detailed look at approaches across OECD countries. WORLD Policy Analysis Center. Web.