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Small Businesses Support Family Medical Leave

Publisher: 
Small Business Majority
Date: 
Friday, 27 September, 2013

Small business owners have been working tirelessly to pull the economy back from the brink of the Great Recession. The long hours and commitment they put into their businesses is rivaled only by their employees, whose hard work is crucial to the success of the business. That’s why small business owners feel it makes good business sense to take care of their employees, as it’s crucial they retain a loyal, talented workforce. It’s not surprising then that scientific opinion polling found small business owners nationwide support the creation of publicly administered family medical leave insurance pools.

These programs provide employees with a portion of their wages for a limited number of weeks when the employee has a serious illness, has a new baby to care for or needs to take care of a seriously ill family member. A plurality of small businesses support a proposal to set up publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools where the insurance premiums are paid with payroll contributions shared by employees and employers— each contributing just one-fifth of 1% of an employee’s wages. More small employers (45%) support this type of policy than oppose it (41%).

Main Findings

A majority of small businesses support publicly-administered family medical leave insurance pools funded entirely by employees: Nearly six in 10 small business owners support creating publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools funded entirely by employees—with each contributing just two-fifth's of 1% of an employee’s wages.

Majority of small businesses support insurance pools paid with contributions funded entirely by employees

There are proposals to set up publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools at the state or national levels. These insurance programs, which already exist in some states, provide employees with a portion of their wages for a limited number of weeks when the employee has a serious illness, has a new baby to care for, or needs to care for a seriously ill family member. The insurance premiums are paid with payroll contributions by employees—just two-fifths of 1% of an employee’s wages. Would you support or oppose such an insurance system, funded entirely by employees, or are you not sure?

Plurality of small businesses support publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools paid with payroll contributions by employees and employers: More small business owners support (45%) than oppose (41%) creating publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools funded by contributions shared by employees and employers—with each contributing just one-fifth of 1% of an employee’s wages.

Plurality of small businesses support insurance pools paid with contributions shared by employees and employers

There are proposals to set up publicly administered family and medical leave insurance pools at the state or national levels. These insurance programs would provide employees with a portion of their wages for a limited number of weeks when the employee has a serious illness, has a new baby to care for, or needs to care for a seriously ill family member. The insurance premiums would be paid with payroll contributions shared by employees and employers— each contributing just one-fifth of 1% of an employee’s wages. Would you support or oppose such an insurance system, funded equally by employees and employers, or are you not sure?

Vast majority of small business owners support the federal Family and Medical Leave Act: 80% of surveyed entrepreneurs support the Family Medical Leave Act, signed into law 20 years ago, which allows eligible employees of covered employers to take a limited amount of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons like a serious personal illness, the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a seriously ill family member.

By four to one ratio, entrepreneurs favor Family Medical Leave Act

As you may know, the 20-year anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act is coming up. Under the Act, eligible employees of covered employers can take a limited amount of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons like a serious personal illness, the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a seriously ill family member, or for qualifying reasons arising out of a family member being an active member of the military. Would you say you generally FAVOR or OPPOSE the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Majority of small businesses have some type of policy—formal or informal—in place when it comes to family medical leave—time an employee would take to care for a family member with a serious illness or caregiving need: 68% of small business owners have either a formal written policy, a consistent but not written policy or informal policy provided on a case-by-case basis to provide family medical leave. 29% of small business owners do not offer family medical leave at all. Of the small business owners who do offer family medical leave, nearly four in 10 offer full or partial pay and 26% offer pay depending on the employee.

Majority of small businesses already offer some sort of family medical leave

Family medical leave is time an employee would take to care for a family member with a serious illness or caregiving need (such as if a spouse has cancer, or an aging relative needs to be moved to a nursing home). It does not refer to sick days, personal days or vacation days. 
As a business owner, do you: 

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