The story below leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling. But it’s worth considering who pays for the “free lunch.” The work left behind by parents who get paid parental leave has to be done by someone. And a paid benefit for one person can — indeed, must, mathematically — mean a foregone bonus for someone else. Unless of course it raises overall productivity, which is an empirical question. The fact that other employees might “pay” doesn’t mean paid parental leave is bad overall, ethically speaking, but these are questions worth asking. >>>
LINK: Tech’s Selfish Reasons for Offering More Parental Leave (by Julia Greenberg for Wired)
…But the new policies are not just for the good of hard workers. After all, tech companies are competitive—and they’re competing for many of the same potential employees. They’re also increasingly concerned about the diversity of their workforces. By offering improved parenting benefits, especially those that help support women (and men), they’re hoping to not only catch the attention of their current employees, but attract the best, most diverse talent, too.
“They’re not doing this to be nice,” says Bruce Elliott, the manager of compensation and benefits at the Society for Human Resource Management. “They’re hoping to see a return on investment.”….
What do you think?
Parental leave is likely to reduce absenteeism as employees are able to manage their multiple responsibilities more effectively. Studies of flextime in the U.S. federal government suggest this. Of course, even employers have a vested interest in the healthy reproduction of the species, although this is outside the scope of the neoclassical paradigm and Austrian variations (according to which labor is a fungible factor of production).
Curiously, the DVD division of Netfix does not recognize parenthood as the streaming unit does.