Decisions to Be Made

Determine which of three distinct types of PFML your policy will cover.

  1. Parental leave? For all parents? - To care for and bond with a new child; can be offered to mothers and fathers, primary and secondary caregivers, adoptive parents, foster parents, surrogate parents
  2. Caregiver leave? - To care for an ill parent, spouse, child etc.
  3. Medical leave? - To recover from personal illness / injury

How to Approach These Decisions

Consider and articulate how PFML will link to your company values

  • Describe how your employee benefits, including PFML, fit into your overall employee value proposition
  • Explain how PFML will specifically advance your company values and mission

Reflect on what types of PFML your employees are requesting

  • Review recent employee survey results to understand what benefits employees have explicitly requested. If you do not have a recent employee survey, consider launching a small benefits survey
  • Consider holding a focus group of employees across the organization to gauge their interests

Determine the age distribution of your workforce and whether a type of leave may be particularly relevant for certain demographics

  • Have a younger workforce? Parental leave may be of particular importance
  • Have an older workforce? They may particularly appreciate caregiver leave to tend to elderly parents

Evaluate reasons for employee attrition and whether PFML could boost retention

  • Analyze available HR data to understand how often employees leave the company within several months of having a child
  • Read available exit interviews to determine how often parenting, elder care, or personal medical reasons are cited as a reason for leaving the company

Examine and compare the PFML benefits your competitors offer

  • Understand what types of PFML your competitors offer to determine how your company can become more competitive in talent attraction
  • Determine whether your company wishes to offer the same types of leave as competitors, or offer more types of leave to create a competitive edge


Company A: Paid parental and caregiver leaves were frequently cited employee priorities in the most recent quarterly employee survey. Decided to offer both types of leave, and provide more weeks for parental leave given its relative importance to employees.

Company B: Offered caregiver leave in addition to parental leave since its workforce skews older, meaning more employees were likely juggling work with caring for elderly parents.

Company C: Already offered paid parental leave, and added caregiver and medical leave benefits based on its commitment to the personal lives of employees, and the belief that offering assistance in times of need translates to business benefits.

Stay up to date on the latest news on Paid Family and Medical Leave

Sign up and join our mailing list.