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Panorama Calls for Business Leaders to take The Paid Leave Pledge

Effort is a step toward strengthening the evidence base for employer adoption of paid leave

SEATTLE, June 6, 2018 - Today Panorama announced a partnership with Nestlé, Union Square Hospitality Group, Limeade, Burton SnowboardsBusboys and Poets, and TCG, among others, to further the adoption of paid leave by U.S. employers. The Paid Leave Pledge, which launched today, galvanizes leading business voices on paid leave around a commitment to share data on the impact of their paid family and medical leave (PFML) programs and calls on others to join. The effort has gained endorsement from former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, Chris Lu, who acts as an advisor, and JUST Capital, who provides support for data collection analysis.

“We are excited to partner with industry leaders on this important work, and are calling on other employers who track the impact of their policies to share what they have learned,” said Kimble Snyder, Director at Panorama. “By collectively building the evidence base, businesses can ensure that more Americans have access to the resources that help them thrive both at work and at home.”

For Nestle, the pledge reinforces the company’s efforts to implement a range of parental workplace support policies launched in 2016 and designed to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for families. In addition to a broad network of parenthood support resources, Nestle offers primary caregivers up to 14 weeks of paid leave and an additional 12 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth or adoption of a newborn child.

This founding cohort of business leaders has carefully considered how they can improve the quality of life for their employees and their families through internal, worker-centric policies. Over the next three months, Panorama will be reaching out to companies, businesses large and small, across a range of industries to gain additional commitments, with the forthcoming round of adopters slated for announcement in September 2018. Throughout a yearlong cycle, the consortium of businesses will share strategies and best practices, leading to the release of data impacts in summer of 2019.

“Through our work with the private sector at the Department of Labor, we repeatedly heard from businesses that the hardest thing was not having strong data on the impact of PFML policies,” said Lu. “Ultimately, there is a gap in data and this initiative is an important step toward addressing it.”

Tracking the results of paid leave requires flexibility, given the specific needs of each business, but there are some broad areas of impact that apply to businesses universally. In conjunction with the pledge, Panorama is developing a return-on-investment framework to provide employers with a comprehensive model of costs and benefits relating to a paid family and medical leave policy. Starting with a flexible approach is a recognition that, while not all business models are the same, there is value in better understanding the specific needs across industry sectors to protect both the wellbeing of workers and the sustainability of business.

“We’ve seen encouraging data thus far that suggest robust paid leave programs can lead to positive health outcomes and foster a more committed workforce,” said Judy Cascapera, Chief People Officer at Nestlé USA. “There is true power in this data and we hope to encourage other likeminded companies to share their analytics and learnings as we collectively work across industries to build even stronger programs for employees and their families.”

The pledge is a great opportunity for companies to better understand how to make workplace flexibilities work, and for those leading the way on these models to inspire others. Panorama serves as a trusted ally for businesses looking to expand or launch paid family and medical leave programs through its work on The Paid Leave Project. Access resources for businesses, learn how to participate in the paid leave conversation, and join future events at  

The Paid Leave Project to Develop Best Practices for Measuring Paid Leave

Effort will strengthen business case for voluntary employer adoption of paid leave

SEATTLE, April 9, 2018 – The Paid Leave Project, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will study how employers monitor the impact and track the outcomes of their paid leave programs. Encouraging employers to share their data externally, and supporting them in doing so, will help build evidence to address one of the largest concerns around paid leave adoption—cost.

Today, there is no standard approach to calculating the business value, health impacts, or general return on investment of paid leave. In the absence of a national policy, paid leave is a benefit some companies choose to offer. Employers looking to build a business case need data to understand the investment and impact. The Paid Leave Project is helping by developing measurement guidelines, sharing best practices and amplifying the voices of businesses.

“The next wave of employers looking to voluntarily offer paid leave want data,” said Angela Romei, director of The Paid Leave Project. “We believe that encouraging and supporting those who already offer paid leave to share their data and business results externally will reduce overall fear around costs and barriers to adoption.”

Tracking the results of paid leave requires flexibility, given the specific needs of each business, but there are consistent metrics and costs that will apply universally. To start, The Paid Leave Project is focusing on three areas: cost, business results, and health outcomes. Within these areas, success measurements include employee attraction, retention, engagement, morale, and changes in infant and parent health.

Tracking data is still the missing link in understanding the true impact of paid family and medical leave. Faced with a changing workforce, employers in every sector are exploring the impact of benefits like paid leave to productivity and their bottom lines.

Established in 2016 by Panorama, The Paid Leave Project works with employers to demonstrate the business case for paid leave by sharing research and resources. The team engaged with more than 470 large employers in 2017 to learn their paid leave stories and published a report on the findings. It was through this initial work with large employers that the need for measurement, or the return on investment, of paid leave was raised.

Tech Industry and Millennial Expectations Play Outsized Roles in Paid Leave Adoption, According to New Report

Research from The Paid Leave Project Identifies Factors Behind Adoption in U.S. Private Sector

SEATTLE, March 1, 2018 – Competitive pressure, millennial workforce expectations, and the outsized influence of the technology industry are among factors impacting voluntary adoption of paid family and medical leave programs in the U.S. private sector, according to new research by The Paid Leave Project.

The year-long project gathered information from more than 470 large U.S. employers across 23 industries to identify which factors impact a company’s decision to voluntarily offer paid family and medical leave.

“The need for paid leave programs is already part of our national conversation,” said Angela Romei, director of The Paid Leave Project. “This new data is crucial to help employers better understand the decisions that will positively impact their workforce and business operations.”

Changes in the national labor force are accelerating paid leave decisions, according to the research. The emerging 21st century workforce, led by the millennial generation, values work-life balance even more than previous generations. Companies say the expectations of their millennial employees are driving them to consider adopting or expanding paid leave.

The influence of the technology industry, with typically generous paid leave programs, extends beyond its own sector and across the country as its benefits become widely known and expected. Companies cited this kind of employee pressure, as well as the positive benefits of being an industry leader, as top factors in their paid leave decisions.

While employers cited the cost of offering paid leave as a key concern, the complications of managing the benefit are proving to be just as much of a barrier, especially in low-profit-margin industries. The full research report includes in-depth interviews with companies that are paving the way in solving scheduling and other such workforce management challenges.

An overview of the complete research findings is available at The Paid Leave Project. The report builds on earlier work by The Paid Leave Project and the Boston Consulting Group, which in 2017 released Why Paid Family Leave Is Good Business, a summary report from initial research into the paid leave practices of more than 250 U.S. companies.

In 2018, The Paid Leave Project will focus its research on industry-specific dynamics, the challenges for companies in states with current or pending legislation, and how employers are tracking paid leave data, results, and return on investment.

The Paid Leave Project Releases Policy Template for Employers

Policy is the newest resource to help employers bring effective paid leave benefits to their business

SEATTLE, November 6, 2017 – The Paid Leave Project today released a template to help employers create an effective paid leave policy. The template is a new resource in the Paid Leave Playbook, which helps companies build a business case for offering paid leave to all employees.

The Paid Leave Project’s step-by-step Playbook equips companies to design custom paid leave programs that fit their culture and values. It provides comprehensive guidance and tools for human resource (HR) teams, legal and compliance officers, and business leaders who are ready to explore how paid parental, caregiver, and medical leave benefits make sense for their business and employees. The need for a policy template was surfaced through strategic conversations with large employers nationwide.

“Employers are facing new demands of the 21st century workforce,” said Angela Romei, director of The Paid Leave Project. “We’re finding paid leave to be a major benefit consideration for employees, and employers are working to figure out how to administer and pay for it.”

The environment facing U.S. employers is complex. Five states and the District of Columbia have already passed paid leave laws, and more than 18 states are actively discussing the potential for policy. As a result, arming employers with resources to successfully implement or expand their paid leave offerings is becoming critical.

The policy template was created in partnership with Jeff Nowak, partner, Franczek Radelet P.C., and author of the FMLA Insights blog, which provides practical guidance to employers when administering leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. It is based on research conducted by Panorama and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) over the past year. In February 2017, BCG and Panorama released Why Paid Family Leave Is Good Business, a summary report from initial research into the paid leave practices of more than 250 U.S. companies. The team also interviewed more than 55 HR and benefits administrators from some of the largest employers in the United States for their detailed experience creating and managing paid leave programs.

Employers can access the new policy template here. The Playbook also offers industry benchmarking and a cost calculator. To address the changing needs of employers, The Paid Leave Project will continue to expand the Playbook to help HR, benefits, and company leaders design custom paid leave programs that fit their culture and values.

It’s Time to Change the Conversation on Paid Leave

I recently had a chance to sit down and talk with Seattle’s King 5 TV News on the passage of Washington state’s paid family leave measure. The bill was passed Friday, June 30 and goes into effect in a few years.  As director of Panorama’s paid leave program, our unique focus is to work directly with large U.S. companies as they assess, design and implement paid leave benefits.

Regardless of a national mandate, state regulations, or benefits offered directly by employers, our position is the same: paid family and medical leave should be made available to all U.S. workers because it makes business sense.


In Washington state and beyond, the conversation is just beginning, and progress is being made. For example, as I explained during my King 5 interview, paid leave is not a “woman’s” or a “mom” issue; every worker has a family member they will want or need to care for at some point in their life. This is a fundamentally different way of looking at this. To create change, we need to change the conversation, and that has to start at the top of any organization.

In my meetings with company executives and HR leaders, most agree their employees need paid leave benefits. Indeed, as the only advanced economy in the world without a national paid leave mandate, everyone agrees something must be done. While we are agnostic in the process that gets us there, we are passionate about working directly with companies to help them provide paid family and medical leave to their employees. We help companies think about and design paid leave benefits that fit their culture and workforce needs.

For more information, including research, a comprehensive step-by-step Playbook, and downloadable tools, visit our dedicated paid leave resource site, The Paid Leave Project or reach out to me directly:

Microsoft Expands Paid Leave for Family Caregivers

Microsoft is upping the ante on paid leave for employees who need to take care of a sick relative. The company is now offering four weeks of paid leave with an eight additional weeks unpaid time. Before now, the company offered 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

Workers typically take this sort of time to care for a sick or elderly family member.

The new benefit, which applies to employees with a close family member suffering from a “serious health condition” as defined by the Family Medical Leave Act, was disclosed Tuesday in a LinkedIn blog post by Microsoft (MSFT, -1.78%) chief people officer Kathleen Hogan.

The benefit is available now to Microsoft employees in 22 countries and will expand worldwide over the next six months, a Microsoft spokeswoman said. Microsoft employs about 121,000 people globally.

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