Navigating Benefits

Should You Offer Paternity Leave to Your Employees?


  • Paternity leave can promote parent-child bonding, improve outcomes for children and support gender equality

  • 9 out of 10 professional fathers consider paid paternity leave important when looking for a job

  • Offering extended leave can help with recruitment and retention

Posted by January 15, 2018

Polishing and updating your benefits package is key to attracting and retaining employees.

Offering paternity leave as an option can help support your employees’ family goals without harming the overall workforce. According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), the time off can help promote parent-child bonding, improve outcomes for children and increase gender equality at home and at the workplace. Both your business and your employees can benefit from offering new fathers extended leave or related benefits.

Benefits of Extended Leave

As mentioned, parental leave can strengthen a father’s relationship with their child, but there are also benefits for you as an employer. New fathers can become concerned about work-life balance, so by providing extended leave, you are setting yourself apart from other companies that aren’t as concerned with their employees’ well-being.

Not to mention, you’ll likely see an increase in productivity—not a decrease. According to Inc., employees who believe that they have a good work-life balance work 21 percent harder than those who don’t. Extending the amount of time fathers are able to spend with their newborns can help ensure top talent is retained and that your existing employees are better balanced.

Trends in Paternity Leave

The study by the DOL found that 9 out of 10 fathers in America take time off for the birth or adoption of a child, but 70 percent of these fathers only take 10 days of leave (or less). Those who took time off were more likely to be actively involved in their child’s care even months after returning to work. Studies from other countries have also confirmed that, “fathers who take more paternity leave have higher satisfaction with parenting and increased engagement in caring for their children,” explains the source.

Given the positive results, it’s not surprising that such a benefit is influential for the majority of job applicants. Another study cited by the DOL discovered that 9 out of 10 working fathers consider paid paternity leave important when looking for a new job.

Understanding Your Workers

If you can’t afford to pay for extended leave, consider letting fathers leave the office early to spend more time with their newborn. Asking your workers what you can do to accommodate them can make a huge difference and make them feel valued. Understanding your workers’ needs is vital.

It can be difficult striking a balance between one’s career and the endless demands of parenthood. Help your workers and your business by putting more time and thought into paternity leave options.

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