Working Mother's 100 Best Companies Provide Paid Leave Model for the Nation
Oct 01, 2013
By Lauren French
Working Mother magazine recently released its 28th annual list of the 100 Best Companies for working moms, honoring employers who offer flexible work schedules and benefits that provide support for women and working parents.
One of the most important benefits considered by the Working Mother Research Institute is the provision of paid leave. Working Mother’s 100 Best Company winners have always been required to provide some paid maternity leave, but inclusion on the 2013 list required companies to offer (or have firm, immediate plans to begin offering) at least one week of fully paid maternity leave. On average, the Best Companies offered eight weeks of fully paid maternity leave, as well as three weeks of paid paternity leave and five weeks of paid adoption leave.
Although the number of leading companies on this list marks progress for working parents, there are still far too many women and families without access to this critical support. Currently, only 11 percent of private sector workers have paid leave, and only 40 percent have access to disability insurance through their employers. Low-wage workers are among the least likely to have access to paid leave, though they are most in need of the financial security it provides. Increasingly, policymakers, the public, and business leaders agree: it is time to implement a national paid leave policy so that all workers, not just the lucky few, have access to this important workplace protection.