Should Businesses Offer Paid Maternity Leave Research Paper

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The Benefits of Paid Maternity Leave


While women have earned their way into the workplace to be treated as equals alongside men, part of what still makes women unique is their ability to be mothers and to carry a child. Mothers play an integral role in society, especially in the early days of when a child is born: the mother is the nurturer, the consoler, the shelter, and the provider. The mother’s bond with the newborn is effected over the first few weeks that the child is alive and this bond plays a significant role in the development of the child over the course of time. As society is always dependent upon well developed persons for the sake of its own future, the benefits of maternity leave can easily be premised upon this point. Paid maternity leave allows the mother to take care of the newborn child for a critical amount of time while maintaining an income, which should only be viewed as fair and well-deserved since the mother is caring for the future of society in this respect. This paper will show how paid maternity leave has a variety of economic, social and health benefits for all.

Economic Benefits

One of the economic benefits of paid maternity leave has been identified by former President Barack Obama, who stated that paid maternity leave “could help increase the percentage of women in the work force, and help middle-class families earn stable incomes” (Miller, 2015). This economic benefit is truly helpful as Americans like Ms. Casillas notes: “Honestly, without that income support, I wouldn’t have made it”—an admission that indicates just now necessary the paid maternity leave benefit really is, especially for single mothers who have no other income stream to rely upon (Miller, 2015). Helping new mothers to be able to stay afloat financially while they oversee one of the most important jobs they could ever possibly have—the raising of a new child for society—is a serious economic benefit. But it is not the only one.

Another economic benefit of paid maternity leave is that “paid leave raises the probability that mothers return to employment later, and then work more hours and earn higher wages”—a point which is actually beneficial for the whole economy (Miller, 2015). The more workers there are to contribute to the overall strength of the economy, the better off the nation is as a whole. Women who are given paid time off for maternity leave are women who are more likely to return to work satisfied that they have achieved one objective thanks to their employer’s support and now will be willing to come back to that same employer in gratitude and work harder than before.

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While paid maternity leave may be a minor burden on businesses for a short time, the long-term effect is that it makes mothers more loyal to the workplace and more likely to be a long-term, devoted employee. In short, it helps to build good will between employers and employees, which in turn ensures that work will continue over the long run and keep the economy firing on all cylinders.

For that reason, House and Vartanian (2012) highlight three important ways that paid maternity leave has an economic benefit:

· Women who report taking paid leave are more likely to be working 9 to 12 months after a child’s birth than are those who report taking no leave at all (“non?leave takers”).

· Paid family leave increases wages for women with children. Women who report leaves of 30 or more days are 54% more likely to report wage increases in the year following the child’s birth than are women who take no leave at all.

· Women who return to work after a paid leave have a 39% lower likelihood of receiving public assistance and a 40% lower likelihood of food stamp receipt in the year following the child’s birth, when compared to those who return to work and take no leave at all.

By continuing to pay new mothers a salary while they take a leave from their jobs, employers are essentially investing in their workers’ and in their own futures. They ensure a stronger loyalty from their workers, and that helps to reduce costly turnover rates; they ensure that their workers will be more likely to earn higher wages in the future, which helps to grow the overall economy; and they ensure that their workers will not have to rely upon welfare, such as food stamps, which would otherwise be a burden on taxpayers. By shouldering the responsibility of supporting new mothers with paid maternity leave, businesses demonstrate corporate social responsibility that promises positive economic outcomes for all stakeholders.

Social Benefits

The social benefits of paid maternity leave are equally as important. One of them is the fact that with paid maternity leave comes the opportunity for new mothers to bond with their new child, spend time with other mothers so that they can communicate and share experiences that can be supportive and helpful in adjusting to this new, important role, and engage in self-care and maintenance in order to reduce the risk of postpartum depression (Miller, 2015).

Another social benefit of paid maternity leave can be found….....

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Burtle, A., & Bezruchka, S. (2016). Population health and paid parental leave: What the United States can learn from two decades of research. Healthcare, 4(2), 30-36.

Houser, L. & Vartanian, T. (2012). Pay matters: The positive economic impacts of paid
family leave for families, businesses and the public. Retrieved from

Miller, C. (2015). The economic benefits of paid parental leave. Retrieved from

National Partnership for Women and Families. (2009). Fact sheet: Children benefit when parents have access to paid leave. Retrieved from

Wallace, K. & Christensen, J. (2015). The benefits of paid leave for children are real, majority of research says. Retrieved from

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