For the average white-collar worker, paid sick and vacation time are the norm. Facebook’s decision to give these same benefits to its contract workforce should be considered a step in the right direction, even if you’re adamantly “pro-business”. Note: Pro-business does not necessarily have to mean you’re against treating employees better. Without sick time, many employees are basically forced to come to work even if they need to rest and recuperate.
In addition to 15 days of paid sick and vacation time, Facebook said it would give contract workers a $4,000 child benefit if they do not receive any maternity or paternity leave.
Why is the issue of having paid maternal and paternal leave a battle between the rich and not-so-rich? I would think as society as a whole benefits from offering this to its employees:
- Time to bond with infant when he/she needs you the most
- Will likely increase chances of successful breastfeeding
- Encourages fathers to be more involved with childcare
- Will keep more women in the workforce since they don’t have to make the decision to quit or stay just weeks after their baby is born.
- Save money for many since infant-care is more expensive than putting an older child in daycare
I think the new generations (Gen X, Millennial and beyond) might finally change company policies for the better. Companies no longer have any loyalty for its employees so it’s not surprising that employees realize that family-time should NOT be sacrificed for the company good.