Donald Trump’s new plan to guarantee six weeks of paid maternity leave brought the issue into the national spotlight last week. Democrats and the media were quick to poke holes in Trump’s plan and compare it to Hillary Clinton’s. Others wrote it off as an attempt to pander to women voters. Many Republicans were unhappy with the proposed regulation, and some said it would give businesses an incentive to hire more men over women.
The center-right Independent Women’s Forum said, “conservatives simply can’t afford to ignore topics like paid leave anymore,” however, they agree that universal paid leave mandates may have some unintended consequences.
“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,” the group said.
IWF advocates for personal care accounts as an alternative to universal paid leave that would eliminate some of these issues.
PCAs – similar to those that already exist for education and health care expenses – would help employees save money tax-free to cover sick or family leave. Businesses would be encouraged to contribute these accounts in the same way that they contribute to employee’s retirement savings and lawmakers can provide tax breaks to businesses that contribute.
IWF conducted a messaging experiment last week that found 84 percent of voters already support personal care accounts (76 percent support universal paid leave).
“While Americans value time off, not all employees want or need the same thing in the workplace,” IWF said in a short video explaining the concept. “And employees are willing to make trade-offs at different points in their lives. For instance, research shows that non-mothers are earnings-maximizers, while mothers are flexibility-maximizers. So, why not allow workers to customize the workplace and wage benefits structure that workers for them?”
Watch the video below: