1. What is paid family & medical leave (PFML)?
Paid family & medical leave is defined as paid time off with full or partial pay to care for a new child or a seriously ill/injured family member, or to attend to a serious personal health condition.
2. How does paid family & medical leave benefit the businesses that offer it?
The most commonly cited business benefits of providing PFML are improved talent recruitment and retention; improved employee engagement, morale, and productivity; reinforcement of company values; and enhanced brand equity.
3. How does paid family & medical leave benefit employees and families?
Paid parental leave has been associated with multiple health benefits for mothers and infants, as well as socioeconomic benefits. Paid caregiver leave and medical leave allow ill individuals the time and care they need to recover without the competing pressures of work. For more detail on the benefits of PFML for those who use this benefit, see "Why Does It Matter?".
4. How much will paid family & medical leave cost my company?
This will depend on the specific PFML policy you plan to offer and the characteristics of your company's workforce. Also keep in mind that the cost of PFML may be offset by its benefits – some of which can be quantified (e.g., reduced turnover costs due to increased employee retention) and some of which may not be quantifiable (e.g., improved employee engagement and morale). For help creating a preliminary cost estimate, visit "Estimate the Potential Costs".
5. How quickly is paid family & medical leave spreading in the U.S. private sector?
Since January 2015, over 60 companies have publicly announced new or enhanced paid family & medical leave benefits. See "So What Are Employers Doing?", "Real Company Stories", and "How Does Your Sector Compare?" for examples.
6. How can I find out what companies in my industry are providing paid family & medical leave?
Many companies release a public announcement when they introduce or enhance a paid family & medical leave policy, meaning a quick web search may reveal whether a particular company has PFML or not. See "Downloadable Tools" for a database of recent policies and "PFML in the News" for new announcements.
7. My company is considering offering paid family & medical leave – how many weeks should we provide?
You may wish to start by considering recommendations from the International Labour Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics as well as sector benchmarks. You should also understand and evaluate your employee needs and business economics to design a PFML benefit that works well for your company.
8. My company is considering offering paid family & medical leave – what level of pay should we provide employees?
Be sure to understand your employee needs and business economics when you design a PFML benefit. Keep in mind that program utilization may be reduced if compensation is less than 100% of regular pay. This may be especially true for fathers taking paid parental leave.
9. My company's [Board, CEO, CFO, etc.] might be tough to convince that we should offer paid family & medical leave – how can I show them this is a good idea for our business?
If you believe PFML would benefit your business and need to convince others in your organization, visit the "Persuade" section for guidance. Also keep in mind that company cultures vary and these conversations and decision-making processes could take time. By using the resources in this Playbook and putting forward the case for a PFML policy, you are taking the important first step of beginning the conversation.
10. Can paid family & medical leave benefit small businesses?
Yes. However, the materials in this Playbook are specifically tailored to a mid-sized/large business audience.
11. My company offers/is about to offer paid family & medical leave, but I'm concerned people won't feel comfortable taking it. What can our company do to help?
Visit "Foster" for actionable guidance on how to create a company culture in which leave-taking is considered 'normal' and encouraged. To gauge how comfortable your employees are taking leave or if they have any concerns, download the sample 'pulse-check' survey questions provided in "Measure".
12. Our company has rolled out a new paid family & medical leave benefit. What can we do now to maximize its value to employees and our business?
Congratulations! Make sure to foster an environment in which employees feel comfortable taking advantage of your new benefit, support employees taking leave as well as their managers, and measure the outcomes of implementing paid family & medical leave.