Our 65 employees now have access to 6 weeks of paid leave at up to 60% of their salary for maternity and paternity leave, to care for a sick child/parent/spouse, to bereave the loss of a family member, or to mend from a serious personal injury or illness.
The United States is one of only seven countries without a national paid family leave policy. In this vacuum of action at the Federal level, the work of paid family leave has been left to the States, with California, New Jersey and Rhode Island addressing the issue. Private industry has filled in some of the gap, although only 12% of all private sector employees have access to paid leave. We have just pushed the 12% a little higher.
We looked at historical data over the last five years to test how often this benefit would have been triggered – pregnancies, injuries and family care events. The average financial commitment for the firm was affordable and achievable. Paid family leave is shown to help with retention of employees as people return to full time work sooner and stay for the long term. Weighing the cost of family leave against the cost of hiring and training new employees made this an easy decision.
We believe this is the right thing to do for our employees and for our business. Taking care of our people is a priority. They are the firm’s greatest asset, so supporting them in their personal lives is as important as providing the right tools in their professional lives. We hope to see other design firms follow suit and, if you have questions about how we did it, get in touch!