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Rutgers study finds paid family leave leads to positive economic outcomes
Date:1/19/2012

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. With a growing need for family-friendly workplace policies, a new study commissioned by the National Partnership for Women & Families, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, concludes that providing paid family leave to workers leads to positive economic outcomes for working families, businesses and the public.

The research, conducted by the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, finds that women who use paid leave are far more likely to be working nine to 12 months after a child's birth than those who do not take any leave. These women also report increases in wages from pre- to post-birth.

"While we have known for a long time about the maternal and infant health benefits of leave policies, we can now link paid family leave to greater labor force attachment and increased wages for women, as well as to reduced spending by businesses in the form of employee replacement costs, and by governments in the form of public assistance," says author Linda Houser, an affiliate fellow of the Center for Women and Work an assistant professor at Widener University. Professor Thomas Vartanian, Bryn Mawr College, co-authored the report.

The study, Pay Matters: The Positive Economic Impacts of Paid Family Leave for Families, Businesses and the Public, also finds that women who take paid leave are 39 percent less likely to receive public assistance and 40 percent less likely to receive food stamps in the year following a child's birth, when compared to those who do not take any leave. Not only is paid leave associated with fewer dollars in public assistance spending, it reduces the chance that a family receiving public assistance will increase its use of public funding following a child's birth, Houser said.

"At a time when governments are struggling with deficits and working families are struggling to stay afloat, this new study shows that allowing workers to take paid time off to
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Contact: Steven Manas
smanas@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x612
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

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