Being forced to take a leave from work without pay can impact workers’ financial security, physical health, and emotional health. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act established a path for paid leave, but the provisions were temporary and excluded many workers. The American Rescue Plan extends the tax credit for certain employers providing paid leave until September 30, 2021. However, at that point, many of the 69 percent of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck may once again find themselves in a position where unpaid leaves of absence could jeopardize their day-to-day financial health and long-term financial security. A more permanent solution is needed that can better support the needs of America’s workers, especially those who are the most vulnerable.
Fortunately, there is growing support for paid family and medical leave. States have been leading the charge to establish paid leave programs, while in the private sector, many larger employers already provide some type of paid leave. Prudential strongly advocates for a public-private partnership to create a comprehensive paid leave solution that is consistent for all of America’s workers. The private sector is eager to work with the public sector to make it happen.