Flexible Paternity Leave and the Millennial Generation

Most parents want to be there to see their child reach developmental milestones, such as sitting up and looking into a parent’s eyes. Several employers like Ernst & Young have increased paternity leave to 16 weeks in an effort to recognize its importance, especially to millennials. This shift in thinking is due to the realization that millennials valve parental leave more than previous Gen X and baby boomer generations. According to a recent poll for the Ernst group the millennial group, those aged 18 to 34, would be more likely to group a company offering flexible paternity benefits.

The demand and competition for high-quality staff in the technology and financial services industries are tough, making meeting the demand for good parental leave benefits for both fathers and mothers a savvy business move for most companies. This trend towards more progressive thinking on parental leave often also includes provisions for gay men and others who become a parent through adoption or other non-traditional means.
Studies have shown that parents receiving good parental leave are more connected to an employer who offers a better work and life balance. However, it isn’t just parents who are benefiting from the millennial drive toward family and work-life balance. The spouses of those with more flexible parental leave also benefit from the knowledge and support provided by their spouse during their child’s formative years.

While this shift towards better parental leave is a godsend for most, the United States continues to lag behind other developed nations due to the fact it remains the single holdout that doesn’t require paid parental leave from the nation’s employers. However, as corporate culture continues to shift towards more flexible and balanced work weeks there promises to be more ample opportunities for parents to better experience their children’s early years due to an increased corporate awareness of just how important it is.

Paternity Leave Now A Reality

As many have seen the new issue of paternity leave has been popping up everywhere. Maternity leave is something given to employees for many years. Ronald Alsop has brought more attention to it in an article from the New York Times. Paternity Leave is now available for many fathers in different industries. It is now believed that it is important for a father to be there during the first stages of a child’s life as well as a mother.
Read the full article here:

In the past, maternity leave was essential to new mothers. In many instances yet, pay for the time off was not included. In the last decade, many large corporations have changed this. They have also lengthened the time to 20 weeks for maternal and paternal leave. American Express and IBM have been a few to adapt to this new policy.

As of today, America is one of a few developed countries where there is no rule to pay employees for leave due to a new baby. Although this is accurate, there are many cities and states that do. New Jersey announced their acceptance of the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Act in 2008. This allows employees up to six weeks of leave time with pay. There are four different statures employees must align with.

1. A person on leave is only allowed to draw up to two-thirds of their normal pay for the week. This cannot exceed $604.

2. The employer must be accountable for the Temporary Disability Benefits Law. This law requires the employer to employ at least one person who has worked a total of more than 20 weeks. These employees must make a total of $165 or more weekly or a total of $8,300 within the last year.

3. Leave can be taken for any reason excluding health conditions of their own.

4. Reinstatement of employment is not guaranteed for companies with less than 50 employees.

More information on this law and other laws for paid leave are at:

More fathers are coming forward demanding these benefits. More and more states are adapting to these new policies as well. New Jersey is one included.