Dec 29, 2016 08:16 PM EST

Paid Parental Leave: United States Still Ranks Last Among Developed Countries Despite Efforts In 2016

The importance of giving employees, both mothers and fathers, some time off for their family and medical needs has been highlighted in recent years. However, the United States still lack a federal policy that would give a mandatory paid parental leave.

America ranks last out of 41 developed countries in the world when it comes to paid parental leave, according to Fast Company. Nonetheless, there were notable efforts made this year as individual states placed some measures to compel employers in offering paid parental leave, specifically Rhode Island, New Jersey, and California.

Most recently, Washington, D.C. approved its paid parental leave plan. As reported by Forbes, all full-time and part-time workers will be granted eight weeks of leave at up to 90% of their full weekly wages. This covers instances of birth, adoption or fostering. The legislation also grants six weeks of family leave to look after a sick relative and two weeks for a personal medical emergency.

Private sectors are also contributing to this endeavor. However, as Fast Company noted, only 13% of workers in the private sector enjoy a paid family leave. Business Insider revealed that 60 of the biggest business in the U.S. actually failed to provide their employees the recommended number of paid parental leave.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends six months of paid parental leave, but none of the biggest companies are able to do so. Some consulting firms and banks provide up to four months of paid family leave. This is because of the lack of public law that would require corporations from giving the needed break by their employees.

While the companies might only be waiting for the law, which they would have no choice but to follow, it would also be helpful to look at the benefits providing such leave to working parents can give to businesses.

A report from The Columbian establishes that giving parents some paid leave for their family is actually good for the business. Employers can attract top talent by offering paid parental leave. They can also keep their best employees by allowing them to take care of their family instead of making them choose between work and home.

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