Paid Family Leave - AEI

Paid Family Leave

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It’s no secret that the United States is unique in the way leave benefits are provided to workers. A new proposal from Kristin Shapiro of the Independent Women’s Forum offers another approach, one that is being described as a conservative approach to paid leave.

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A new proposal would let new parents finance time off from their jobs by slightly delaying the time at which they would collect Social Security benefits. Kristin Shapiro, a lawyer in Washington, explained the idea in a recent paper for the Independent Women’s Forum. She estimates that new parents could finance 12 weeks of leave in return for a six-week delay in taking Social Security checks.

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This paid-leave scheme would be another instance of a government program creating adverse unintended consequences.

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Paid family leave is being discussed on Capitol Hill, as the Family and Medical Leave Act does not cover low wage workers. Experts discuss possible expansion policies for paid family leave.

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Over the next few months, we invite you to engage with us as we present and grapple with the evidence on paid leave and contemplate elements of a more inclusive paid leave policy.

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With the combined responsibilities of the workplace and the family increasing, the case for providing paid time off from work for specific family needs is more relevant than ever, and a federal paid leave policy could support the needs of millions of America’s working parents who currently lack access to paid leave through their employers or existing state laws.

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Plus Amazon’s entry into health care, a new approach to paid family leave, and more.

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The United States and Papua New Guinea are the only two countries that offer no form of paid family leave. A proposed bill before the Maine legislature would create a program that covers eight weeks of both parental and medical leave at two-thirds the rate of pay. Experts discuss family-friendly policies and paid leave at the federal level.

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Paid parental leave can be provided on an affordable, self-financing basis by allowing new parents to claim early Social Security benefits. This idea should be considered as Congress turns to entitlement reform.

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Paid family leave is getting more traction at the state level, than federal, with New York joining a handful of other states requiring paid family leave. Will other states follow? Maybe, but it seems unlikely that we will have a national paid leave program any time soon.

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