There are pros and cons of extended paid maternity leave. The biggest pro benefits the mother, though a company that offers paid maternity leave does get benefit of employee retention. Companies that want to offer extended maternity leave need to consider the real benefits to the mother and weigh them against costs and potential productivity losses.
For the mother, additional maternity leave is good for overall health. It also allows more bonding with the mother and child during the first weeks or months of the child's life. A healthier employee is a more productive employee. If an employee does not have to worry about unpaid maternity leave, she is better off psychologically. The child is better off because he doesn't pick up on the mother's stresses. The company benefits from having an employee that is happy.
Offering extended maternity leave tells prospective employees that the company cares about their health and their relationships with spouses and children. This encourages highly qualified people to apply for positions, creating a larger pool of applicants. It also enhances the company's public image among its peers, increasing its status within the industry.
Drawbacks of Extended Leave
One of the cons of extended maternity leave is that it costs more money. This may affect the way some companies hire, choosing a woman who is not of childbearing age. Companies also need to find a way to pay for the benefit, which can be challenging in a down economy.
The cost of extended paid leave may drive some companies to look for employees who won't use the benefit. That could mean passing up a qualified younger woman in favor of a man or an older woman. One thing to consider in this situation is salary. Younger employees often have a smaller impact on payroll than older employees. Putting the costs side by side, including paid maternity leave, may show that the employment cost is equal.
When choosing a job, one of the things employees look for is the types of benefits the company offers. Simply adhering to the Family Medical Leave Act isn't enough in a competitve industry. If you're an employer looking for the best workers, it's worth adding extended maternity to your benefits package. If you're looking for a job, find out about maternity and paternity policies, even if you're not planning on having children for a few years.
Although there are federal protections for maternity leave in the United States, there are still situations where you could lose your job while out on leave. Learn your rights under the law and steps you can take to keep your job secure.
Certain companies must adhere to minimum maternity leave policy guidelines under the FMLA. Learn who qualifies and what benefits the Family Medical and Leave Act provides.
If you plan to take a maternity leave from your job, there are some things you should know. U.S. law guarantees no paid leave at all to new parents, so you will have to do a bit of research to understand your rights and make a plan for your leave.