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Dads Value Paternity Leave

Father and Son by Jessica Nazarova

As Father’s Day approaches, a new report provides some insight into how fathers view paternity leave.   A survey found that a significant majority —  89%  — of fathers believe that it is important for employers to provide paternity leave.  The survey also found that the majority of  fathers — 94% — took some time off to help with care-giving responsibilities for their new child with the average time being about 2 weeks.

The report comes as the country and various states continue to debate the issue of paid family and medical leave.   As is often mentioned, the United States is an outlier among developed nations when it comes to this issue, with most other developed countries requiring paid leave for new parents.

The report provides a partial window into one of the many ways that the American family has changed over the past few decades.  The survey results hint at the fact that with the majority of families having both parents in the workforce, there have also been changes to the way that families approach care-giving duties with fathers playing a more active role that defies historical gender stereotypes.

Some studies have found that paternity leave can help contribute to family stability when both parents are allowed to take time to bond with the child and adjust to the new responsibilities and routines that come along with a new family member.

As our families continue to change, we hope that that we will find ways to ensure that our workforce policies support moms and dads  and help equip them for the important role of raising the next generation of Nebraskans.  Ensuring access to both paid maternity and paternity leave would be a great place to start.

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