Paid Leave, Gender Equity
January 2017 – July 2019
of workers have access to PFML
of businesses perceive cost to be the most significant barrier to adopting PFML policies
is the average profit increase after a PFML policy is introduced
The United States is the only industrialized nation without federal paid family and medical leave (PFML). In the absence of broad local or national policy, the onus has largely fallen on the private sector to play the critical role of providing for the needs of their workers.
Starting in 2015, voluntary corporate adoption of PFML gained significant momentum. However, while big-name technology and finance companies adopted comprehensive policies and expanded existing benefits to upward of one year, little changed for much of the rest of the workforce, in particular for low-wage earners. Today, it remains that fewer than one out of five Americans has access to employer-provided PFML.
Panorama recognized a gap in understanding and elevating the business perspective as it relates to PFML. Following one year of in-depth “listen and learn” conversations with employers to understand emerging trends in PFML, Panorama developed a two-pronged strategy to better engage and support the business community.
To build on our landscape research, Panorama continued a deep dive into the drivers behind why businesses choose, or not, to voluntarily adopt a PFML policy. This research considered how incentives change based on business size, industry, and workforce makeup. Recognizing the momentum behind local and state legislation, Panorama also worked with business coalitions and government representatives to understand the perceived divide between the creation of comprehensive public policy and the interests of the business community.
Panorama also responded to businesses expressing that the biggest barrier to adopting or expanding a PFML policy is a lack of understanding of business impacts. To this end, Panorama encouraged and enabled employers to track, calculate, and share their return on investment data in regard to PFML.
Panorama collaborated with a wide network of private sector leaders, paid leave advocates, coalitions, and government stakeholders. Notable partnerships that contributed to the success of our work include:
“Panorama's resources and playbook were instrumental in developing my pitch. … I wouldn't have been able to confidently approach my company without the data and information you made available.” - VP of Accounting and Human Resources, paid leave partner
Funding support for our work came from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and an anonymous donor.
Based on our extensive, multiyear research, Panorama developed a comprehensive suite of targeted employer resources to support business leaders so they could better understand, assess, design, implement, and improve PFML policies that best fit the needs of their workforce. Our resources include The Paid Leave Playbook, policy fact sheets, workforce management strategies, research on business trends by sector, and one of the first studies available that provides real-world data on the business impact of PFML.
Panorama’s cross-sector engagement over nearly three years helped us become a trusted business ally. Acting as a convener, we elevated the business perspective and integrated it into key policy conversations. We have helped grow and shape the narrative of PFML so that stakeholders, advocates, and private sector leaders can collaborate to develop sustainable policies that work for both the workforce and the bottom line.