Aug 23, 2022 - Economy

Parental leave benefits recede to pre-pandemic levels

Percentage of organizations offering paid family leave, by type
Data: Society for Human Resource Management; Chart: Nicki Camberg/Axios

Employers have largely reverted back to pre-pandemic parental leave policies after temporarily beefing up the benefit in the first year of the global health crisis.

By the numbers: Only 35% of employers are offering paid maternity leave in 2022 beyond what is legally required, down from 53% in 2020, according to a survey of 3,000 employers by the Society of Human Resource Management. It was 34% in 2019.

  • 33% of employers are offering paid paternity leave in 2022, down from 44% in 2020 and up from 31% in 2019.

What they're saying: "Employers seem to be dialing back on expanded parental leave opportunities since returning back to more normal operations," SHRM reported.

Of note: The number of employers offering gender-neutral parental leave is 33% in 2022, down from 39% in 2020 but still up from 28% in 2019.

  • When the pandemic hit, many employers bolstered benefits, "cognizant of the stresses that many working parents faced," such as aiding their children in school work, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • "Now, some employers are shrinking the amount of paid leave they offer new parents to the legally required minimums, which can range from nothing to eight or 12 weeks, depending on the region."
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