As a small business in the United States, the topic of parental leave, paid sick and holiday is greatly discussed, debated and challenged.
The United States ranks last when it comes to these categories, and it’s a landslide. One reason other countries have much more progressive policies is because leave is often subsidized by the government. Any paid leave offered in the United States is fully on the business — small or large.
Check out this chart below with selected countries around the world.
Where the United States has zero days of annual leave mandated by any statute, countries like France and the United Kingdom offer over 25!
Large companies, many in Silicon Valley, are leading a charge to provide paid parental leave. Facebook currently offers four months. Spotify offers six months. These companies are really on the cutting edge, by US standards, and I would love to see more companies follow suit.
When my partner, Amy, and I started Aftermarq, quality of life for our employees was our biggest concern. Happy employees are more creative, happy employees work harder, and happy employees are… happy. Who doesn’t want to be in a happy environment at work?
On top of happy employees, it’s important to treat people with dignity and respect.
In the interest of full transparency, here is our policy at Aftermarq for time off and leave of any sort:
- Unlimited, paid vacation time. Starts day 1.
- Unlimited, paid sick time. Starts day 1.
- Five personal development days. Starts day 1. This is time that must be used to work on oneself. It can be a conference you’ve wanted to attend, a class you want to take, etc. This is intended to encourage creativity, support the expansion of ones skill set or more.
- Six weeks paid parental leave for pregnant mothers, spouses of pregnant mothers, and adoptive parents. This is not the cap, this is a starting point. If more time is needed, leave will be granted, with the guarantee of the position upon return.
- 10 paid days to grieve an immediate family member. Five days to grieve an extended family member.
- Up to six weeks paid leave to care for a sick relative.
- One week “fur-ternity” for employees that adopt a pet. This gives the employee time to work at home to spend time with their new furry loved one and help them acclimate to their new loving home.
Aftermarq is a small business with five full-time employees based in Columbus, Ohio. Even though we are currently not mandated by law to provide any paid leave, that’s just not right, and we won’t stand for it. We urge any business reading this to follow our lead. Your employees are your business, without them, you couldn’t exist.