The United States notoriously lags behind other countries in mandated parental leave. But employers are starting to offer their own more generous policies for both new moms and dads.

 

“In Mercer’s survey of more than 1,200 companies, 36 percent of firms said they have a parental leave policy — and of those firms, 94 percent have a maternity leave policy, 76 percent have paternity leave and 73 percent have an adoption leave included,” writes Lisa Scherzer for Yahoo! Finance. “And of the 64 percent of companies without a policy, 12 percent are considering implementing one.”

 

Notably, time off for new fathers is starting to grow in the U.S., writes Jeanne Sahadi for CNN Money.

 

“The push toward providing more paid leave for dads started in early 2015, when a few other large companies — including Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs — expanded paternity leave or more gender-neutral parental leave policies,” Sahadi writes.

 

But it’s not yet the norm.

 

“Less than 20 percent of U.S. employers offer paid paternity leave, according to 2015 survey findings from the Society for Human Resource Management,” she writes. “They’re doing so in large part because companies are in an arms race with competitors to attract Millennials and keep their best talent on board.”

 

It’s likely a good way to recruit and retain employees, writes Phil Albinus for Employee Benefit News. “In a survey conducted by Flexjobs, working parents cited work flexibility as the most important factor when looking for a job, cited by an overwhelming 84 percent,” Albinus writes. ‘Work/life balance came in second at 80 percent, and salary — despite stagnant wages in the American workforce — ranked only as the third consideration, with 75 percent.”

 

Employers are catching on, Scherzer writes.

 

“(It) shows employers are beginning to expand these offerings as parental leave benefits become a frontline tool in the battle to attract and retain talent,” she writes.

 

Flexjobs’ research indicates time off and flexibility will continue to be important for working families, Albinus writes.

 

“Workplace flexibility has been an increasingly popular workplace perk among all kinds of workers,” he writes. “(This) research sheds light on just how important it is for working parents — and how it influences whether or not they accept a job offer.”