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The Paid Leave Project to Develop Best Practices for Measuring Paid Leave

Effort will strengthen business case for voluntary employer adoption of paid leave

SEATTLE, April 9, 2018 – The Paid Leave Project, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will study how employers monitor the impact and track the outcomes of their paid leave programs. Encouraging employers to share their data externally, and supporting them in doing so, will help build evidence to address one of the largest concerns around paid leave adoption—cost.

Today, there is no standard approach to calculating the business value, health impacts, or general return on investment of paid leave. In the absence of a national policy, paid leave is a benefit some companies choose to offer. Employers looking to build a business case need data to understand the investment and impact. The Paid Leave Project is helping by developing measurement guidelines, sharing best practices and amplifying the voices of businesses.

“The next wave of employers looking to voluntarily offer paid leave want data,” said Angela Romei, director of The Paid Leave Project. “We believe that encouraging and supporting those who already offer paid leave to share their data and business results externally will reduce overall fear around costs and barriers to adoption.”

Tracking the results of paid leave requires flexibility, given the specific needs of each business, but there are consistent metrics and costs that will apply universally. To start, The Paid Leave Project is focusing on three areas: cost, business results, and health outcomes. Within these areas, success measurements include employee attraction, retention, engagement, morale, and changes in infant and parent health.

Tracking data is still the missing link in understanding the true impact of paid family and medical leave. Faced with a changing workforce, employers in every sector are exploring the impact of benefits like paid leave to productivity and their bottom lines.

Established in 2016 by Panorama, The Paid Leave Project works with employers to demonstrate the business case for paid leave by sharing research and resources. The team engaged with more than 470 large employers in 2017 to learn their paid leave stories and published a report on the findings. It was through this initial work with large employers that the need for measurement, or the return on investment, of paid leave was raised.

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