I’m a small business owner, and I’m also a new dad. These identities give me insight into a topic that's been front and center lately: paid family and medical leave. It’s considered common sense that new parents are in favor of paid leave, as we want to spend time with our children and understand that others parents do as well. But what most people don’t realize is that a majority of small business owners support paid leave as well. I have nine employees on my team, and it’s important for me to maintain a strong workforce.
Paid Sick Days
Many small businesses can’t afford an HR department, which means that benefits – like health insurance, paid leave and retirement – can be difficult and costly to administer. But employee turnover is expensive as well, costing an employer approximately 75 to 150 percent of an employee’s salary. Benefits can be key to reducing employee turnover, increasing employee productivity and ultimately boosting businesses’ bottom lines.
Paid leave has been a hot topic lately, with several new initiatives and laws in the works around the country and in the D.C. region. Maryland’s Montgomery County recently approved a law allowing employees to accrue a limited number of paid sick days, and D.C. is weighing a law that would provide up to 16 weeks of family leave. Some critics are arguing that paid leave laws are bad for small businesses – but the reality is that many small business owners believe paid leave policies help them attract and retain talented employees, which is good for their bottom line.