Beginning next year, Dane County employees will get 10 weeks of paid parental leave.
Dane County Executive, Joe Parisi, announced the change Wednesday as part of the 2018 budget. Currently, parents can take up to four weeks of paternity or maternity leave by combining sick and vacation time.
“It’s important as families transition and grow that parents can savor those moments without worries about mounting responsibilities at work,” Parisi said in a statement. “I am urging other businesses and leaders in our community to join us in doing what is best for the workplace, for the workers and for our children.”
Parisi encouraged other business to follow the city’s example. He noted that when his son was born, he was “lucky” enough to be able to take time off, but parents shouldn’t have to be lucky to spend time with their new child.
The policy also hopes to encourage women to stay in the workforce as well as support the evolving role of dads in the family dynamic.
“Access to paid parental leave is an extremely important issue for working women and has a direct impact on their families’ physical and financial health,” Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health director, Sara Finger, said in a statement.
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Previously, the burden of lack of family leave fell mostly on women, even though women make up almost half of the United States workforce, Finger said.
Though disappointed by the fact that the United States is the only industrialized country that doesn’t provide paid parental leave, Finger is grateful for the “forward-thinking” officials in Dane County who created this policy.
“The Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health applauds Dane County Executive Joe Parisi for implementing a new paid parental leave policy that will provide county employees with 10 weeks of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a new child,” the statement said.