Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Paid Parental Leave

This image made possible by paid parental leave.

One my regular blogging reads, On Parenting in The Washington Post, pointed me towards this article, which argues against paid parental leave. Reading it really got me worked up, because paid maternity (and paternity) leave is something that I feel strongly about. The critical Newsweek article only discussed the economic costs of paid leave, and left out some of the most crucial (albeit intangible) benefits: mental health, morale, and the nurturing of family life and the social fabric of our communities.

I, for one, would not have been able to afford to stay home with my daughter for 3 months if it hadn't been for the availability of Short Term Disability, which my employer paid for. The time we spent together was so important to our bonding and it was even too short, in my opinion. I'm hoping that one day the US moves towards the maternity care models of Canada and Europe, where parents get up to one year of paid leave.


  1. Interesting that you should mention short term disability insurance.

    My employer (state of CT) offers a couple different types for their employees.

    I think more people would take advantage of the insuranc if it wasn't so difficult to actually use when you needed it. It would definitely be worth it, because if you had to go on unpaid leave, not only would have some income coming in, but at least you would be able to pay for your health insurance while you were out.

  2. Hi G! Welcome to my blog and thanks for posting.

    Sounds like CT is one of the family-friendlier employers in the US. I completely agree that STD should be made much more user friendly. It was quite the maze when I had to navigate it. Unfortunately, it's not mandatory in the US, and even my friends who work for our federal Gov't don't use it (not sure if it's cause it's unavailable to them, or because it was too complicated). Either way, I hope more private companies and state/federal governments follow CT's lead and offer more options.