Get the facts on Family Leave Insurance
A minority of employers in North Carolina provide paid leave. In the South Atlantic region, only 11 percent of private-sector workers have access to paid leave. Eligible workers can take unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but currently no state legislation guarantees paid leave.
Many of North Carolina’s workers are also caregivers
Despite the job losses of recent years, today most families are headed by working adults, and many of these workers, women and men, have child-care responsibilities, elder-care responsibilities, or both.
- Approximately, two-thirds of North Carolina’s families with children have all parents in the labor force.
- Over 1 million North Carolinians care for adult family members, partners, or friends suffering from chronic illness. The majority of caregivers have been employed at some point during their caregiving experience.
Only some of North Carolina’s workers have access to unpaid family leave
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides unpaid job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks to care for a seriously ill family member, to recover from the employee’s own illness, or to care for a new child. However, the scope of the FMLA is limited, and because the leave is unpaid, many workers who are eligible cannot take advantage of it. Without paid family leave, workers face the difficult choice of taking unpaid leave (if they qualify under federal law), quitting their jobs, or returning to work too early.
Family leave insurance supports economic security and makes good business sense.
Family leave insurance can help caregivers to stay in the workforce while fulfilling caregiving responsibilities.
- Researchers estimate that more than one-third of caregivers providing care to older adults leave the workforce or reduce hours worked due to caregiving demands. Click here to learn more…
- Research also shows mothers who have access to paid leave are more likely to return to their jobs after giving birth, which reduces recruitment and training costs for the employer. Click here to learn more…
- Turnover can be a significant issue for employers who do not provide adequate leave for parents. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research conducted a study of staff turnover in the federal government, which does not provide paid leave for parents, and found significantly higher turnover rates for women of child-bearing age versus men in the same age bracket. These differences in turnover rates were not present for older workers. Click here to learn more…
Family leave insurance benefits families and communities.
Communities benefit from the economic stability and health benefits that accompany family leave insurance.
- Maternity leave, for instance, has proven health benefits for both mothers and children by making it more likely that children will be breastfed. Click here to learn more…
- Longer leaves also allow new mothers to choose an appropriate length of time to recover from childbirth, especially from Cesarean sections.
- When workers are able to take time to care for their new babies and sick family members the need for social services decreases and public costs are reduced. Strong communities need secure families.