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Tech Industry and Millennial Expectations Play Outsized Roles in Paid Leave Adoption, According to New Report

Research from The Paid Leave Project Identifies Factors Behind Adoption in U.S. Private Sector

SEATTLE, March 1, 2018 – Competitive pressure, millennial workforce expectations, and the outsized influence of the technology industry are among factors impacting voluntary adoption of paid family and medical leave programs in the U.S. private sector, according to new research by The Paid Leave Project.

The year-long project gathered information from more than 470 large U.S. employers across 23 industries to identify which factors impact a company’s decision to voluntarily offer paid family and medical leave.

“The need for paid leave programs is already part of our national conversation,” said Angela Romei, director of The Paid Leave Project. “This new data is crucial to help employers better understand the decisions that will positively impact their workforce and business operations.”

Changes in the national labor force are accelerating paid leave decisions, according to the research. The emerging 21st century workforce, led by the millennial generation, values work-life balance even more than previous generations. Companies say the expectations of their millennial employees are driving them to consider adopting or expanding paid leave.

The influence of the technology industry, with typically generous paid leave programs, extends beyond its own sector and across the country as its benefits become widely known and expected. Companies cited this kind of employee pressure, as well as the positive benefits of being an industry leader, as top factors in their paid leave decisions.

While employers cited the cost of offering paid leave as a key concern, the complications of managing the benefit are proving to be just as much of a barrier, especially in low-profit-margin industries. The full research report includes in-depth interviews with companies that are paving the way in solving scheduling and other such workforce management challenges.

An overview of the complete research findings is available at The Paid Leave Project. The report builds on earlier work by The Paid Leave Project and the Boston Consulting Group, which in 2017 released Why Paid Family Leave Is Good Business, a summary report from initial research into the paid leave practices of more than 250 U.S. companies.

In 2018, The Paid Leave Project will focus its research on industry-specific dynamics, the challenges for companies in states with current or pending legislation, and how employers are tracking paid leave data, results, and return on investment.

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