The sad truth is that along with a bizarrely high infant mortality rate for such a wealthy nation, the United States is also one of the few countries in the world that neither provides nor mandates paid maternity or paternity leave. Paid parental leave has been shown to support improved infant health and development, along with self-evident benefits such as allowing for a more sustainable family life and gender equality for employees.
Because of both the obvious and nuanced advantages, providing paid parental benefits for employees was a no-brainer for us at dojo4. It presents a potentially substantial financial cost for us as a small business, but the value fostered by supporting each other and our families, contributes indispensably to our human capital and long-term profits.
In researching the particulars of what to offer as a robust parental leave policy, we found that there were very few examples out there to use as models for small businesses like ours. So after talking to lots of people and settling on a policy that we feel is supportive to both employees and the sustainability of the business, we decided to open source the policy so that organizations in the same boat can use it a template for their own parental leave policy. It's released to the public on github. Please use whatever there that is useful (actually, the whole dojo4 HR handbook we cooked up is there, too, as open source material)- and we hope it inspires more and more of us to offer a support for employees that is really more of a right to security than an employee benefit, anyway...
image credit: thinkprogress.org