Workers taking paid family leave fight fear of stigma over absence
Last March, Unum conducted an online survey of 500 new parents – half of them fathers – finding that 37% of new dads feel there’s a stigma in their workplace around new parents taking time off. And although 62% said their employer offers paid parental leave, 50% said they spent 30 days or fewer away from the workplace after the birth or adoption of a child. That stigma, the survey found, involves a fear of being passed over for a promotion or being looked down on for taking time off.
At Unum, more than 300 employees have used the family leave plan since it launched last year, 40% of whom were new fathers, including 39-year-old Shawn Smith, vice president of benefit operations.