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The Importance and Main Benefits of Parental Leave

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The social determinant I selected on is parental leave. The issue for parental leave is the lack of time, lack of pay, and the reasons why parental leave is so important for the mother, father, and the new baby. Having a new addition to your home takes a lot of time, energy, and a list of things to get established and into the new “routine”. According to The Department of Labor, “The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.”

How Parental Leave Influences Health in General

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During the parental leave baby and the families are getting used to life at home with the new bundle of joy and spending time with each other. While the new mother and father are adjusting to life with their new baby it is important for them to not have to worry about money and how they are going to pay for daycare and all of that while receiving little to nothing. They should be able to focus on what is most important, the new addition. When a mother and father only get a short time off work with no pay or very little, it is difficult for the new family to enjoy this special time. There are also many times the new mother needs help around the house and with everyday activities because she is still healing from giving birth, adjusting to breastfeeding or bottle feeding, the loss of sleep, and her hormones adjusting back to a normal level. The main benefits for the baby and the parents are spending that time together reduces infant mortality rate and provides long term benefits that improve a child’s brain development, social, emotional, cognitive development, and overall well-being. Mothers that say home breastfeed longer than mothers that return to work after a few weeks. Fathers who stay home become more competent in their parenting skills. Mothers and fathers are both able to be there during the critically important first months when healthy and secure lifelong parent-child attachments are formed.

How to Achieve More Equitable Health Outcome

Currently, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons. I would want to have a policy in which allows a social-security-type system is used to fund the paid time off, though in a small share of cases, the employer also foots part of the bill, as well. Some businesses across the U.S. offer paid family leave to their employees without being required to do so, as well. It would not be fair to the employees that do not have children and would be required to pay the tax that is set up for the paid FMLA. Some employees would have a problem with being required to pay a tax for something they may never use, unlike Social Security and Unemployment.

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