A Three-Part Series

Paid Leave

Good for Families, Businesses, and the Economy

Available as a PDF

The Next Generation

Preparing for the Future of the Workforce

Coming Soon

In a new three-part series, the Clark-Fox Policy Institute reviews the latest empirical data layered with community voice and details evidence-informed policy recommendations to help businesses create family-friendly workplaces.

Part One, Paid Leave: Good for Families, Businesses, and the Economy, describes the realities that more than two-thirds of American workers face bringing home a new baby or caring for a sick family member without access to paid leave. Highlights from the brief reveal:

  • Economic and Health Benefits: Paid leave is shown to bolster the health and productivity of the workforce, reduce postpartum depression, and alleviate financial strains on families, contributing to economic growth.
  • Cost Savings for Businesses: Implementing paid leave can curtail employee turnover costs, which average 20% of an employee’s annual salary, and potentially decrease moms leaving the workforce by nearly 20%.
  • Wage Disparities and Inequality: The absence of paid leave disproportionately impacts low-wage workers, who are primarily women of color, with 94% lacking access to this crucial benefit.
  • Inclusive Family Support: The policy brief advocates for the extension of paid leave to fathers and same-sex families, promoting gender-neutral language and inclusive policies to support diverse family dynamics.

Read Part One now

Part Two, Good Businesses Attract Good Employees: Promoting Employee and Family Wellbeing, outlines actions that businesses can take to support their employees and their families. Strategies that businesses can implement right now to support working families include:

  • Pay Equity: Pay inequality disproportionately harms single mothers, leaving them more likely to live in poverty than single fathers.
  • Living Wage: In every county in Missouri, two working caregivers with two children need to earn at least $20/hour to cover their family’s basic needs.
  • Health Insurance: Access to preventative care encourages employees to use healthcare facilities when they are sick instead of waiting to get medical care in an emergency, which can result in longer periods of leave.
  • Flexible Working Arrangements: Businesses are seeing better performance outcomes from their employees when they offer flexible working arrangements.

Read Part Two now


Supporting Working Parents:
An Open Classroom Discussion on Paid Leave

A virtual panel discussion on why paid leave is critical to create thriving families, a strong childcare system, and successful businesses, and how companies of all sizes can respond.


Read more about the panel in StudLife, Washington University’s Student newspaper

Raise Awareness

Get social media posts and sample messages to share about the importance of family-friendly business policies

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Share Key Messages

Read our Part 1 Executive Summary for key messages on paid leave and Part 2 Executive Summary for key messages on policies to promote employee and family well-being.

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Good Businesses Attract Good Employees
If businesses want to retain and attract quality talent, they must adapt to meet the demands of an evolving workforce. Read more about family-friendly business policies at http://clarkfoxpolicyinstitute.wustl.edu.

Paid Leave Supports Employees, Businesses, and Economic Growth
Parents shouldn’t have to choose between their careers and family responsibilities. Read more about family-friendly business policies at http://clarkfoxpolicyinstitute.wustl.edu.

Media Contact

For media inquiries, please contact Neil Schoenherr, Senior News Director of University Marketing & Communications.

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Coming soon

Part 3

The Next Generation: Preparing for the Future of the Workforce