Washington, DC—A scientific opinion poll released today by Small Business Majority found a plurality of small business owners support publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools, paid with payroll contributions by employees and employers, and that the majority of small firms already have formal or informal family and medical leave policies in place—many of which provide paid leave.
What’s more, the vast majority (80 percent) of respondents support the Family Medical Leave Act, signed into law 20 years ago, which allows eligible employees of covered employers to take a limited amount of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons like a serious personal illness, the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a seriously ill family member.
“Family medical leave not only provides security for small businesses and their employees in terms of healthcare and medical situations, but it creates a trusting workforce. That leads to greater output and profits,” said Eric Blinderman, owner of Mas (farmhouse) and Mas (la grillade) in New York City. “It shows workers we understand they are not just contributing to the success of our businesses, but to the wellbeing of themselves and their families.”
The poll, conducted by Lake Research Partners on behalf of Small Business Majority from Jan. 24-Feb. 1, 2013, found the majority of small businesses already have family medical leave, parental or medical leave policies in place—and many of them already provide paid leave.
More than two-thirds of small business owners have either a formal, informal or a case-by-case basis policy to provide family medical leave to their employees. Of the small business owners who offer family medical leave, nearly four in 10 offer full or partial pay and another 26 percent offer pay depending on the employee.
The same is true for parental leave: 66 percent of small business owners have either a formal, informal or case-by-case basis policy to provide parental leave. Of the small business owners who do offer parental leave, nearly half (46 percent) offer full or partial pay and 21 percent offer pay depending on the employee.
And in the case of medical leave, a vast eight in 10 small business owners have a formal, informal or case-by-case basis policy to offer medical leave to employees. Of the small business owners who do offer medical leave, four in 10 offer full or partial pay and a third offer pay depending on the employee.
“These type of policies help level the playing field between small businesses that want to offer this benefit but can’t, and their larger counterparts that can,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “Small employers know policies like this create a happier and more productive staff, which in turn leads to increased productivity. And many small business owners think of their employees as family, so it’s not surprising they support a policy that enables them to foster a happier workforce while protecting their workers and their bottom line.”