Ikea’s decision to offer up to four months of paid parental leave time to its 13,000 employees in the U.S. is yet another example of how a competitive free-market economy, not increased government regulation, best serves the needs of both employers and employees. Like Netflix, the multi-billion-dollar company can afford the move and has every reason to do so to retain its best employees and attract new talent.
In her latest article in the Washington Examiner, Hadley Heath Manning explains why government-mandated paid leave would harm workers, particularly women:
American workers, especially women, should celebrate that our government doesn't impose on our employment arrangements with a one-size-fits-all paid-leave mandate. In countries with paid-leave mandates, women are less likely to advance to managerial positions and the gender pay gap is greater. This policy that is intended to help families (especially women) unfortunately and ironically backfires on them.
Even Hillary Clinton understands this and argued as much on the campaign trail. She said maternity leave without paternity leave would "undercut women in the workplace and depress their wages." And the reality is that mandated leave for both sexes would still hurt women. Employers know women are more likely to take advantage of the benefit, and therefore could respond by favoring men for positions and promotions.
Paid-leave mandates also limit a woman's ability to negotiate for individualized arrangements at work. Parenthood is very personal, and naturally women will have different preferences about work based on a variety of factors. For maximum flexibility, parental leave arrangements should be left to workers and employers to negotiate.
You can read Hadley’s full article here. Then, please click on the social media icons below to share this important story with your friends and family.