BY CHELSEA MAXWELL & JENNY HYDE
The birth of a child is a life changing moment for families. But not all parents have the ability to spend the first few months, or even weeks, at home with their newborn child. Felt more dramatically by low-income families, many face the impossible decision of either working to put food on the table or staying home with their child and losing needed wages.
Nearly one in four mothers returns to work within two weeks of having a child. In most cases, it’s because their employer does not offer paid family leave. Paid family leave guarantees a continuous income for parents for a period of time they take off of work. For the majority of American’s living without paid family leave, a choice between economic stability and quality time with one’s family, the place where children are nurtured and grow, is an all too common trade-off.
The need for strong paid family leave policies in the United States, particularly for low-income families, is a matter of public justice deserving of our attention. Our lack of action has failed children and their families across the country. By working together to advocate for and support paid family leave policies, we can strengthen families and honor God in doing so.
Statistic Courtesy of In These Times
One in four mothers returns to work within two weeks of having a child.
Only five percent of the lowest paid workers have paid family leave.
Of businesses with less than 50 employees, only eight percent of workers have paid family leave.
Only five percent of employees who work part-time have paid family leave.