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.