By Suzannah Weiss. Photos: Stocksy.
If you're not frustrated enough by the fact that the United States is the only advanced economy that doesn't require employers to offer paid parental leave, consider this: New research finds companies are offering less compensated time off now than they were a decade ago.
According to a new Society for Human Resource Management and Families and Work Institute survey of 920 American companies, only one in 10 offered paid leave in 2016—that's down from around one in six in 2005. And the leave that is offered is hardly generous: The average maximum is 14.5 weeks—just over three months—also down from 2005, when it was 15.2.
Even more disheartening: The number of surveyed companies offering some sort of pay to new parents increased from 46 to 58, but 78 percent of the plans come in the form of disability insurance—not parental leave—which can only be applied to women who have just given birth, excluding dads, adoptive mothers, and surrogate users. As if that's not bad enough, women who do choose to employ disability insurance only receive 60 to 75 percent of their salaries for six to eight weeks, and nothing after.
Still, policies do vary: several of the nation's top tech companies have made expanded parental leave a high-profile job perk, initiatives that have proven successful for the corporate giants who adopted them—Google was losing 50 percent fewer new moms after it changed its maternity leave from 12 weeks to 18—but the trend just isn't catching on with smaller employers.
In fact, seven percent of the surveyed companies aren't even following the Family and Medical Leave Act, which requires firms with 50 employees or more to offer "unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons," including 12 weeks after the birth of a child. And according to a recent PL+US report, none of the top U.S. companies offer the six months of leave recommended by the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Many give none at all to men and adoptive parents.
There has been signs that conversation around parental leave will continue during the Trump years: First daughter Ivanka has proposed a childcare plan that would include paid maternity leave, but in response to criticism that it only included birth mothers, the administration is reportedly revising it.
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
More from Glamour: