Universities’ Study finds overwhelming support for paid paternity leave

With COVID-19 forcing many to work from home with their children, e-learning, childcare, and paid paternity leave have become hot button topics!

The Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act — was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2021. The bill proposes to implement a 12-week paid leave for federal employees to care for spouses and children.

Richard Petts, professor of sociology at Ball State, and his research partners — Chris Knoester, Ohio State University associate professor of sociology, and Ohio State Ph.D. candidate Qi (Amelia) Li conducted a study to learn more. Their research has shown overwhelming support for paid paternity leave in recent studies with more than 86 percent of participants indicating they support paid paternity leave, but there were varying levels of support for government funding of it.

Their study was published in the International Journal of Comparative Sociology on June 23. Researchers found the majority of people surveyed across 20 countries were in fact in favor of paid paternity leave. On average, survey participants showed support for a 13-month paid leave on average.

According to reports, the average maternity leave taken in the United States is 10 weeks and only six states and Washington D.C. have active paid family leave programs with nine other states passing programs that have yet to go into effect.

According to Very Well Health, many private companies do offer some form of paid leave, but often pressure men to return to work sooner. This continues to occur with families conferenced about losing jobs if they do not return due to nearly every state having some kind of at-will firing policy. This means employers essentially need to reason to terminate an employee. This takes place despite evidence that paid paternity (and maternity) leave does in fact support family bonding. Additionally, some studies suggest there is even a correlation between families who take paternity leave and lower divorce rates.

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