https://i1.wp.com/genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/pfml.jpg?fit=2256%2C1504&ssl=1 1504 2256 Debra Fitzpatrick http://genderpolicyreport.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/gendereport.png Debra Fitzpatrick2018-10-10 14:05:372018-10-10 14:05:37Trading retirement security for access to paid parental leave
Across parties, politicians are showing increased interest in developing policies around paid family and medical leave, especially for new parents. The latest creative example is Republican Senator Marco Rubio’s Economic Security for New Parents Act, backed by the Independent Women’s Forum, a politically conservative US non-profit advocacy organization. The bill would allow households with a new child (biological or adopted) to access Social Security benefits to cover their parental leave, in exchange for delaying receipt at retirement. The proposal has received little support from Democrats or the public, yet it is noteworthy that Republicans are offering new ideas for addressing the changing nature of and needs of modern families – for instance, the mother is the sole or primary earner in 40% of families with children under age 18 (2013 Pew report) – for paid leave after the arrival of a child. The United States is an outlier, late to the recognition that economic instability during family formation is a public problem worthy of a public response. Research shows the benefits of such paid leave for mothers, fathers, children, and employers. The dominant policy around the globe and in seven US states is publicly run social insurance, under which workers and/or employers contribute to a fund accessed by workers during their leave.