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Paid family leave: Strengthening families and our future

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Skinner, Curtis & Ochshorn, Susan
Publication Date: 
1 Apr 2012



To date, much of the focus of research and advocacy in the states and nation has been on the benefits of paid family leave to business – including improved employee retention and job satisfaction – and workers’ rights, in particular, gender equity. A growing body of research, however, suggests that paid family leave also has beneficial effects on child and parental physical and emotional health.6 Yet, the child and maternal health outcomes of paid family leave are largely absent from the nationalpolicy debate.

This policy brief looks at the effects of maternal employment and parental leave policies on child health, child cognitive and emotional development, maternal health, and the health of parental relationships. It highlights compelling new arguments that strengthen the case for paid family leave, and includes a set of research-based recommendations to advance policy for this important social benefit.

- reprinted from document, p.3