The United States is one of only four countries in the world (and is the only one in the developed world) that doesn’t require paid parental leave. Federal law only requires that companies with more than 50 employees provide twelve weeks of unpaid leave to full-time workers who have worked for more than 1,250 hours.

The U.S.’s policy doesn’t compare well to other countries, but it does mean that American companies have the choice of whether to offer paid parental leave.

Not offering paid parental leave may seem like the obvious choice, because your company wouldn’t have to pay employees who are not at work. However, there are other benefits to offering paid leave that encourage many companies to provide it even when it’s not required.

Saving Money

Some states have already passed laws requiring paid parental leave. Businesses based in California, which mandates six weeks, have found that the costs are minimal and that in many cases, they have actually saved money. Much of the savings come from preventing turnover.

When employees take paid leave, it provides an opportunity for their coworkers to learn new skills by temporarily taking on new tasks.

Preventing Turnover

Employee turnover is very expensive. It can cost a company up to four times an employee’s salary to hire and train a replacement. Offering paid parental leave to both men and women provides them with an incentive to stay with your company when they’re ready to return to work.

Your company benefits by retaining experienced employees who return loyal and more productive. This is especially important for female employees, who are much more likely to return to work after having children if they were able to take paid leave.

Improving Diversity

Having children can seriously disrupt a woman’s career, delaying or preventing promotions and raises. Offering paid parental leave for both men and women can mitigate this problem. Women experience less career disruption and a lower pay gap if both parents are able to take paid leave.

Having a diverse workplace improves a company’s reputation, productivity, profits, and more. Companies that don’t promote diversity can suffer from poor reputations that can drive away both customers and potential employees.

Attracting Top Talent

Pay isn’t the only thing that employees are looking for in a job. Especially with younger workers, benefits and policies such as flexible hours and paid parental leave are things that employees look for in their job searches. To hire the best candidates to your company, it’s essential to offer benefits that will be attractive to them.

Paid parental leave tells candidates that your company cares about its employees. It also shows that your company is dedicated to equality and diversity in your workforce.

Creating a Paid Leave Policy

It’s important to offer paid parental leave to both men and women equally. Many of the best policies offer family leave that also includes caring for sick relatives. In addition, your policy should offer additional leave for recovery if women have experienced pregnancy complications and need a longer recovery.

Is your company looking for a HRIS to help create and manage your parental leave policies? We can help you find the right solution that will meet your company’s needs. Visit our vendor match page now to start your search.