San Juan municipal staff who change into dad and mom will now get six months of paid depart.Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz says that is important for brand new dad and mom and a superb enterprise follow for the town.San Juan’s transfer is a distinction to the remainder of the U.S., the one industrialized nation with out a nationwide paid household depart coverage.


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The remainder of the U.S. — and a few of its largest employers — may take a cue from San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. On Monday she introduced that the town authorities is extending absolutely paid maternity depart for municipal staff from three months to 6 months to present working dad and mom extra time to nurture their newborns.

“It is the best way to increase rights, not take them away from girls and the household unit in order that the household bonds,” Cruz mentioned at a press convention Monday. “It is important that moms and dads share extra time with their kids at beginning.”

It makes good enterprise sense, too, by serving to the federal government appeal to expertise and retain its workforce, Cruz instructed CBS MoneyWatch. “To have a optimistic surroundings at house, frankly, is sweet enterprise as a result of individuals will adhere extra to their schedules and change into extra loyal to the group,” she mentioned. The municipal authorities at present employs 6,000 San Juan residents — 853 of whom are girls between the ages of 18 and 40, in response to Cruz.

a person holding a baby: baby-and-parents.jpg© Getty Photographs/iStockphoto

6 months of paid household depart could also be new gold commonplace

Pediatricians suggest that moms spend between six months and a yr at house with their toddler kids, however few girls within the U.S. are afforded that chance. One in 4 mothers returns to work simply 10 days after childbirth, in response to Paid Go away for america (PLUS), a company devoted to profitable high-quality paid household depart for everybody.

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“There may be good proof that absolutely the minimal that appears to make a distinction is 12 weeks — three months — however for those who’re fascinated by supporting breast feeding and bonding, you then wish to do a minimal of six months and ideally as much as a yr,” Dr. Benard Dreyer, professor of pediatrics at NYU Faculty of Drugs and former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, instructed CBS MoneyWatch. 

San Juan’s Cruz launched two new insurance policies Monday — one which extends paid depart for brand new moms from 12 weeks to 24 weeks — and one other that will increase paternity depart from 5 to 20 days for fathers who want to spend extra time at house with their newborns. 

“This profit will encourage the daddy to play an energetic position in taking up household duties,” Cruz mentioned.

The insurance policies additionally apply to same-sex {couples} and home partnerships, and so they cowl households that select to undertake. Girls at present on maternity depart will be capable to apply for an extra 12 weeks. “It really works for a lot of varieties and mixtures of {couples}, together with people who find themselves residing collectively however aren’t married,” Cruz instructed CBS MoneyWatch.

The transfer is well timed, too — it makes Puerto Ricans who acquired custody of kin’ kids as much as the age of 14 after Hurricane Maria eligible for paid break day from their jobs, Cruz mentioned.

San Juan’s coverage price? “Zero”

The fiscal impact of the brand new coverage will likely be “zero,” Cruz mentioned. Different staff will choose up the absent staff’ duties whereas they’re on depart. “This has all the time occurred each time somebody has given beginning or adopted a baby. It is not one thing we do not cope with each single day,” Cruz mentioned. “As a result of we have already got the wage of this lady or the wage of this municipal accomplice taken under consideration within the price range, it isn’t an extra expense.”

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Employees aren’t required to take the prolonged depart, but it surely provides them the chance to spend extra time with their newborns throughout an important interval for his or her bodily and emotional growth.

U.S. lags different international locations

Parental depart is a contentious subject within the U.S. —  the one industrialized nation with out a nationwide paid household depart coverage.

“Most different high-resource international locations — like most of Europe and Canada — have 9 to 12 months of paid maternity depart,” Dr. Dreyer mentioned. “We’re the outlier. We have now not been beneficiant to households and youngsters, and we’ve not acknowledged the significance of fogeys of their kids’s formative years and the way essential that’s.”

He acknowledged the sensible challenges of an organization guarding a brand new father or mother’s job for an prolonged interval. “Definitely having staff depart for a yr and having their job assured to come back again to will trigger some logistical points for companies. However that is OK. They’ll nonetheless thrive with that,” he mentioned.

Earlier this month, Home Democrats launched laws that might assure federal staff 12 weeks of paid household depart. The so-called Federal Worker Paid Go away Act would enable women and men to take paid depart after giving beginning or adopting, or to take care of an ailing member of the family.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this yr proposed six months of paid parental depart for all California residents — a major improve from the state’s present household depart coverage offering as much as six weeks of partially paid depart for a brand new youngster or sick member of the family. Critics argue the present coverage leaves a few of the poorest staff — and their households — behind.

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Greatest and worst corporations

Some American companies respect the upside of giving staff extra paid break day with their younger kids, and so they implement beneficiant insurance policies to attract prime expertise to their workforces.

“We have observed a development over the course of the previous three years of paid household depart insurance policies within the personal sector increasing and transferring away from these extraordinarily brief four- to six-week parental depart insurance policies and nearer to 12 weeks and past,” mentioned Annie Sartor, director of office packages at PLUS.

Deloitte, one of many “Huge 4” accounting corporations, has been hailed as chief for its household depart insurance policies. It presents its staff 16 weeks of paid parental depart, plus as much as eight weeks of childbirth restoration — incomes it a prime rating on PLUS’s 2018 listing of the employers with the most effective depart insurance policies.

Moreover, Deloitte provides staff 16 weeks of household caregiving and 16 weeks of private medical depart.

Different top-ranked corporations embrace IBM, Financial institution of America and H&M. Publix Tremendous Markets, alternatively, is ranked worst, providing dad and mom no paid parental depart in any way, in response to PLUS.

Insurance policies that give staff six to eight weeks of paid break day are frequent within the personal sector, in response to Sartor, leaving a lot room for enchancment.

Stated Sartor: “Management from decision-makers just like the governor of California and the mayor of San Juan is pushing this dialog towards better lengths of depart that mirror the wants of actual households.”


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