Saturday, June 3, 2023

Working fathers, economical paternity allowance

“Loser” and “a little odd” were among the most published reactions after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chaten took their twins home. The attack clearly highlighted the stigma that prevented some working fathers from taking advantage of such family policies, despite the social and economic benefits.

Buttigic, who adopted Penelope Rose and Joseph August this year and announced his departure in August, told ABC News that the criticism was helpful because it kicked off a conversation.

“We’re almost the only remaining country in the world that doesn’t have any politics … and when parents take parental leave, they need to be supported,” he said. “If there is an idea that maybe men have access to parental leave, but this is frowned upon if they actually use it … it entails the assumption that the woman will do all the work.”

The pandemic has brought the struggles of working parents into the spotlight. Lack of childcare prevents, in particular, women from returning to the labor market and inhibits job growth. More than 2.3 million women left the workforce between February 2020 and February 2021, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, bringing their participation rate to 57% – lower than at any time since 1988.

While more men are taking parental leave when available, the criticism leveled at Buttigieg is a reminder that stigma still exists. According to a 2019 study by Boston College’s Center for Work and Family, only 62% of men take the full leave they are entitled to, compared with 93% of women. Some men only take part of the available time.

How does paid parental leave work?

While many countries provide paid leave for both parents after the birth of a child, the United States does not, so it varies from state to state.

According to the Center for Bipartisan Politics, nine states and the District of Columbia have paid family leave programs ranging from six to 12 weeks. Meanwhile, federal government workers are entitled to paid leave of up to 12 weeks.

In most states, employers decide how much leave to give employees. This led to inequality, with the majority of workers with higher wages receiving paid leave.

What is the stigma around parental leave?

Some men who have access to paid leave say they don’t want to take it. They fear that it will damage their reputation, put them at a disadvantage for promotion and affect their earning potential.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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