Today, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley announced that City employees will now be eligible for up to six additional weeks of paid time off after the birth or adoption of a new child. This is in addition to existing leave policies that allow employees to use accrued sick or vacation time. As a result of the policy, employees will be able to spend more time caring for and bonding with new family members, time which has been shown to have numerous benefits for child and maternal health, gender equity and the local economy.
Mayor Whaley has recognized what many Fortune 500 CEO’s have realized, which is that establishing a paid parental leave policy is good for women, families, employers and local communities.
With today’s announcement of Dayton’s first-ever paid parental leave policy, the city aligns itself with dozens of thriving private sector companies who have also recently announced similar polices.
This year alone, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs all announced the implementation of some form of paid parental leave. And just this month, Netflix, Adobe and Microsoft all added their names to this list.
These highly successful companies have all provided paid leave for their employees after the birth or adaption of a baby because they know that doing so improves employee retention, job satisfaction, and productivity and helping employers compete for top talent.
In addition to being a good policy for both employers and employees, paid parental leave also has numerous benefits to individuals and communities. As Innovation Ohio outlined in a report earlier this year, the availability of paid parental leave means that low-wage workers are less inclined to drop out of the workforce and on to public assistance. This not only reduces gender and economic disparities, but it strengthens regional economies.
Paid parental leave can also improve critical health outcomes like immunization and infant mortality. A review of global data found that increases in access to paid leave was associated with 22 to 25 percent higher rates of immunization for DPT3, Measles and Polio. Studies from 18 of the world’s largest market-based democracies also found that access to paid leave has decreased in deaths in the first month of life by 2.6 percent and in the first year of life of life by 4.1 percent!
We are encouraged that Mayor Whaley and the city of Dayton are leading by example on this important policy. We hope other employers and communities throughout Ohio will follow suit.