3 Reasons Employers Should Care About Parental Leave

3 Reasons Employers Should Care About Parental Leave

What do employers want most from their employees? Value.

The best companies know that pushing employees hard to work long hours or meet unreasonably high targets may get results in the short term, but in the long term, these tactics backfire in the form of mistakes made, poor performance, and lost work time.

One only needs to read about Wells Fargo employees opening up fake accounts in order to meet unrealistic goals set by higher-ups to see what happens when too much pressure is put on staff to produce.

The U.S. lags behind many other developed nations when it comes to time off, benefits, and work hours; thus, many employees are dependent on the kindness of their employers. While it can be tempting to push and insist everyone get back to work, there is value in having happy, healthy employees.

One of the most important benefits employers can bestow on their staff is adequate parental leave. Why is this benefit so critical?

1. Parental leave is good for physical health.

Mothers who return to work too soon after giving birth are at risk of developing physical symptoms and conditions, including fatigue; back, neck, and abdominal pain; breast discomfort; diarrhea; constipation; uterine infections; high blood pressure; irregular heartbeat and more, according to the National Institutes of Health.

These symptoms can be markedly worse for women who undergo Cesarean sections, episiotomies, or vaginal tearing.

2. Parental leave is good for mental health.

Studies show that separating newborns from their mothers is detrimental to the baby, and as an extension, to the mother. According to Science Daily, it is only in western culture that a newborn is whisked off to the maternity ward, away from its mother. Further, humans are the only mammals to separate babies and mothers. In fact, animal researchers separate mothers and babies to test stress levels on newborns.

Time magazine reports that a study shows parents who return to work too soon after the birth of a child suffer higher rates of stress, depression, and ill health.

A mother who is suffering physically or mentally is less able to breastfeed her child, putting both mother and child at risk of disease, the NIH reports. Risks to the baby include increased incidence of gastroenteritis, ear infections and pneumonia, childhood obesity, diabetes, leukemia, SIDS, and necrotizing enterocolitis. Mothers who do not breastfeed are at greater risk of breast and ovarian cancer, obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

3. Employees with good physical and mental health work harder and smarter.

It is easy to understand that employees who enjoy good physical and mental health will produce better work. But in a company’s blind rush to get ahead of the competition, they may lose their grip on this important fact. The solution to overcoming physical or mental exhaustion is rarely to work harder and power through, though that’s just what many employers pressure their employees to do.

The research shows that adequate time off to care for and bond with a child is critical for both the parents and their child, and thus for society as a whole.


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Dispense with the hassle and expense of finding, leasing, and furnishing an office. Trust Metro Offices to provide an upscale, fully staffed space with all the furnishings and supplies you need to run your business. All you need to bring are your happy, healthy employees.

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