How to Establish a Paid Paternity Leave Policy for Your Office
September 26 2019 - Each year, over 3.8 million babies are born in the U.S. In the past, the new mom would receive paid maternity leave for a specific amount of time. This allowed the mom to recover from the birth, bond with her new baby, while still receiving a paycheck.
But, what about dad?
While paternity leave is something, some companies have offered for years, for others, it's a fairly new concept as more and more men are demanding fair time. Keep reading about paid paternity leave, what the law says and how to create this offer for your employees here.
Understanding Parental Leave Laws
The U.S. is one of the few developed countries that don’t have a paid parental leave law in place. However, there is something called the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which explains to employers can or can't do about unpaid leave for new parents.
According to the FMLA, companies with 50 or more employees must provide new parents with a maximum of 12 weeks of fully unpaid leave during a year. This law is applicable to all full-time workers, no matter their gender, as long as they have worked 1,250 hours for the employer before taking the leave.
Sometimes, a father may have to provide proof of paternity, which is possible by using a legal DNA paternity testing.
Tips for Creating a Paid Paternity Leave Policy
While unpaid leave is required, to provide your employees with more perks and to let them know they are valued, it’s a good idea to develop a paid paternity leave plan and some tips to do this are found here.
Leave Room for Flexibility
Creating a paid leave plan for your workers requires flexibility. While you can provide a written amount of time for the plan, also allow individuals to take the days or weeks when they like.
For example, new dads could begin working three to four days a week, rather than having to take complete weeks off directly after the birth of their baby. By doing this, it's possible for them to help their partners and get into a new routine with the new baby.
Consider Leave Share
Consider allowing your employees to share their paid leave time with each other. In most cases, this is a viable option as long as your employee's partner doesn’t receive paid leave from their employer.
Make it an Easy Transition
With the right transition program in place, individuals have a much easier time getting back to "business as usual," and there is a higher likelihood that the parent is going to return to work. There are some companies that even connect parents coming back to work with mentors who have gone through this process.
Another option is to provide the new father with the opportunity to work from home part-time. This allows them to spend time with their new baby while still earning a paycheck.
Create a Paid Paternity Leave Program for Your Office
Building a paid paternity leave program doesn't have to be difficult. However, it is something that businesses - even small businesses — should put time and effort into. By doing this, a company is going to provide a better working environment for their employees.
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