Accenture, one of Corporate Voices for Working Families corporate partners, is highlighted in Sue Shellenbarger’s Wall Street Journal online Work & Family article this morning, “Family Time: Lawmakers Push to Expand Paid Leave.” Here’s from the article:
No incoming president has set a more ambitious work-family agenda than Barack Obama. The president-elect has said he wants a federal sick-day mandate and expansion of family leave. With Democrats also in control now of legislatures in 27 states, up from 23 before the election, change on this front is likely.
But such proposals face historic obstacles, in the form of a cratering economy and paralyzing state deficits. Thus new entitlements are likely to move ahead unevenly, if at all. While the politicians do battle, it will be more important than ever for working parents and others with family duties to stay up-to-date on government entitlements and employer policies, which vary widely, and to plan ahead for time-off needs.
Despite the support of the Obama administration and state lawmakers, Shellenbarger points out that expanding leave options and programs will remain a tough sell. Consequently, employees and employers continue to look at ways to handle this important issue independently of legislation.
One example: Accenture’s Future Leave program. Shellenbarger writes:
One novel employer policy supports another kind of saving. Accenture’s Future Leave program enables workers to set aside part of their paychecks in anticipation of time-off needs. (Accenture also offers paid parental leave.) The program has drawn 350 participants since last year and has sparked interest from several big employers, a spokeswoman says.
Given the shape of the economy, helping employees help themselves may be an idea whose time has come.