The Baby Benefits Boom: Should Small Businesses Follow?

Date: December 08, 2015

Millennials are changing the face of the small business workplace, causing companies to take a closer look at paid parental leave policies.

More and more milllennials are starting to have kids. And this baby boom is leading to a creative benefits revolution of sorts.

“Millennials are an influential generation, perhaps as influential in their time as the Baby Boomers were in theirs,” Small Business Trends wrote. “And just as the Baby Boomers changed the face of the workplace a generation ago, millennials may do the same in the coming years.”

A demand for work-life balance has led small businesses to consider offering not only paid maternity leave but paternity leave as well, according to the article. In fact, more than one-third (38 percent) of millennials said they’d be willing to move to another country if it meant they’d get better parental leave benefits, an EY study found.

Almost all of Crain’s Best Places to Work provide paid time off for primary caregivers, and more than three-quarters grant compensated leave to secondary caregivers.

Compare those rates with the 2015 employer survey by the Society for Human Resource Management: Twenty-one percent of U.S. companies offer paid maternity leave (up from 12 percent last year), while 17 percent provide paid time off for dads with newborns (compared with 12 percent) in 2014.

Is it worth catering to this millennial-driven trend? Generous benefits packages help attract and retain top talent. And that could save your company money: The average cost to replace an employee, including interviewing and training, adds up to about 20 percent of his or her annual salary—and can be as high as 200 percent for an executive, according to the Center for American Progress.

In the end, though, business owners consistently tell NFIB that they want to work with their employees to develop benefits that truly benefit them. Small businesses have tighter budgets than big corporations and typically can’t afford a full suite of benefits, so targeting the most useful ones, rather than the trendy ones, can often work better for small business owners and their employees.

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