President Donald Trump’s Department of Labor introduced a paid family leave proposal in its 2018 budget request, released today.
The proposal, which has been a priority of first daughter Ivanka Trump, would provide six weeks of paid family leave to new mothers and fathers, including adoptive parents. “The proposal will allow states to establish paid parental leave programs in a way that is most appropriate for their workforce and economy,” DOL said in a statement.
DOL said that the proposal would be fully funded by savings accrued through reforms to the unemployment insurance system, including reforms that reduce the amount of improper payments. Unemployment insurance, which is dispersed at the state level, provides temporary and partial earnings replacement for workers that have become unemployed and are actively searching for work.
“For the first time ever, by any administration of any party, we are proposing a nationwide paid parental leave program,” budget director Mick Mulvaney said. While some experts have questioned whether reforms to the UI system will be enough to fund a sustainable paid-family leave program, DOL officials say the proposal is meant to kick-start the program, with states determining the long term revenue streams.
“Even though the proposed paid leave program includes parents of both genders, research suggests women will bear the brunt of the cost: in states like California and countries like Norway and Great Britain, the evidence suggests paid parental leave policies increase female unemployment, reduce the proportion of leadership roles filled by women, and even exacerbate gender inequality,” Vanessa Brown Calder, a labor policy analyst at the CATO Institute, told TheDCNF.
The proposal is part of the fiscal year 2018 budget request for the Department of Labor.
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