Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Straight Talk About Paid Leave

The left has long held control over the conversation of paid leave—until now.  Today, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), the leading center-right women’s policy organization, released an informative, animated Web video – Straight Talk About Paid Leave – exploring how paid leave mandates will affect women and families, and proposing free-market alternatives to help working women. This release comes on the heels of IWF’s Personal Care Accounts vs Universal Paid Leave messaging experiment, released last week.

Americans overwhelmingly want employees to have paid time off that they need when they are sick, have a family member who needs care, or are welcoming a child into the family. According to IWF’s experiment majority of voters support leave policies (Personal Care Accounts (PCAs) 84%, Universal Paid Leave (UPL) 76%).
However, there are real costs to universal paid-leave mandates that are often overlooked and left out of the conversation.  These one-size-fits-all mandates can backfire on women – particularly women with low-incomes who we all most want to help – by discouraging flexibility and leading to fewer job opportunities.  In Straight Talk About Paid Leave, IWF takes a closer look into the disruptive consequences of UPL mandates and highlights better ways to help workers get paid leave, while keeping career pathways and flexible work arrangements intact.
“Conservatives simply can’t afford to ignore topics like paid leave anymore,” said IWF executive director Sabrina Schaeffer. “Issues like paid leave and childcare are everyday concerns for most Americans, which is why IWF has invested in developing the policy content and educational messages that will appeal to the public and address their concerns while advancing conservative ideals.  Now it’s time for more conservatives to start proactively talking about these important issues.”
IWF’s Working for Women report, released earlier this year, presents a slate of policy reforms to improve the workplace – including PCAs, which would allow workers to save pretax income to be used when they take time off for situations eligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  This would help workers save for when they need to take time off from work. 
As explained in the video, PCA’s—compared to UPL—wouldn’t put people out of work, wouldn’t make women more expensive to hire, and wouldn’t eat into take home pay, and therefore are a better alternative to a one-size-fits-all government program.

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