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.

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About Unum Group

Unum Group provides a broad portfolio of financial protection benefits and services through the workplace, and is the leading provider of disability income protection worldwide. Through its Unum US, Unum UK, Unum Poland, and Colonial Life businesses, the company provides disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental and vision benefits that protect millions of working people and their families. Unum also provides leave and absence management services that streamline the leave experience for employers and employees, and stop-loss coverage to help self-insured employers protect against medical costs. Unum reported revenues of $11.6 billion in 2018 and paid $7.2 billion in benefits.

 

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