Why more companies should adopt paid leave policies

Paid leave roundtable at UCare. Photo by Tim Blotz / Fox 9 News.
Paid leave roundtable at UCare. Photo by Tim Blotz / Fox 9 News.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is in the Twin Cities, trying to convince more companies to adopt paid leave policies. Secretary Perez joined a roundtable discussion Tuesday morning at the UCare headquarters in Minneapolis.

Secretary Perez says the United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't have a paid leave policy. He says companies like UCare, which recently adopted a paid parental leave policy, have figured out that offering paid leave is the best way retain workers and save on retraining costs.

"Our best ambassadors for change are business like UCare who have been making the business case for the enlightened self-interest that's involved," Secretary Perez said. "But you shouldn't have to win the boss lottery to stay home for a few weeks after your kids are born."

UCare president Nancy Feldman says their paid leave policy costs less than one tenth of one-percent of the company' total administrative costs.

"When we decided to put in the paid parental leave, the first thing we asked was how much will this cost UCare?" Feldman said. "The numbers that came back were a pittance compared to the return on investment we've gotten from employee satisfaction and from employee loyalty to the organization."

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