SHRM Survey Highlights Gender Differences in Leave Post-Childbirth

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has published new research showing that women receive—on average—“almost twice as much paid parental leave after the birth of a child as men.”

The Paid Leave in the Workplace Survey found that women averaged 41 days of paid leave after childbirth, with men receiving only 22 days.

“The imbalance in parental leave indicates that organizations still expect mothers to take on the majority of care for a new child,” said Evren Esen, director of workforce analytics at SHRM. “This inequity in paid-time-off days may discourage fathers from taking a similar amount of time off to care for a new child.”

The SHRM survey also examined paid leave plans, finding that the majority of employers used employee tenure as the basis for leave offered in paid-time-off (PTO) and vacation plans. A two-year employee received an average of 15 days of PTO and 11 days each in paid vacation and paid sick plans.

For plans that were not based on tenure, full-time employees, on average, were awarded about 18 days of PTO or 16 vacation days, 11 sick days, and four personal days per year.

According to the survey, full-time employees generally had to wait six to nine weeks before they were eligible to take leave. Wait times were longer for employers with paid vacation plans versus PTO.