Paid parental leave offers in the United States are relatively rare and uneven. Until a few months ago, very little was known about the opinions of American citizens about this tool. Using data from the General Social Survey, a group of Ohio University researchers Attitudes and availability of paid parental leave, preferred length of time for paid leave offerings, and US government funding opinion were investigated.
The research shows massive support for paid parental leave, an average preference for four months of paid leave, and combined support for at least some government funding for childcare. Older and more politically conservative individuals spoke less and less in favor of paid parental leave, longer leave duration, and government funding for leave. Women, African Americans, and those who do not work in general were more favored with paid parental leave offers.
These results are as shown in research, notes that there is a consensus in favor of long-term parental leave, both paid and subsidized by the federal government, but so far these items have not resulted in viable policy changes across the country. Research findings indicate that while 82% of respondents seem to be in favor of taking paid leave, only 47% believe that the government should co-finance some vacation offers.
This reluctance to support government benefit provisions reflects a preference for self-regulatory markets free from government interference. Similarly, employers express strong opposition to government funding of social programs, such as paid time off, because they are concerned that governments are increasingly influencing other aspects of their business. Distrust and distrust of state intervention may help explain why the United States differs from the rest of the Western world in the lack of a federal policy on paid leave, despite significant public support for furlough provision.
An important finding of the research is that both the number of children in the family and conflicts between work and family are positively associated with subsidizing government funding for paid parental leave. This indicates that individuals with greater family burdens and more significant difficulties with managing work time and family care perceive the need for greater support from federal government family policies, such as paid parental leave.
Until now, Only 21% of employees Americans can take paid family leave through their employers, even though both parents work full time in nearly half of two-parent families, according to the Pew Research Center. This lack of provisions is in stark contrast to European countries, where paid parental leave is offered (albeit in different forms, times, and wages). Research has shown that paid parental leave offers indisputable benefits to parents, children, and communities in the countries that provide it.
However, as mentioned, there is broad support in the US. According to a study about 82% of Americans Supports taking paid parental leave. This number has remained roughly the same for years and includes support from across the political spectrum. The United States needs to strengthen its family policy at the federal level or at least recognize, in ways that respect the principle of subsidiarity and liberalism, the federal states sufficient freedom and fair funding so that they themselves may implement adequate family policies even with corporate participation, in the case of parental leave.