Paid household trip can assist 37% of unemployed Individuals get again to work
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The US is one of the few developed countries without a national paid family vacation policy.
Democratic lawmakers are expected to have a long-awaited chance to address this when a budgetary reconciliation bill is passed on Capitol Hill this month.
Now, a new survey by the Bipartisan Policy Center and Morning Consult shows that introducing a paid family vacation scheme could help get many Americans who were pushed back to work during the pandemic.
Currently, 79% of workers are not entitled to paid family leave, while 60% are not entitled to paid sick leave, according to the non-partisan Policy Center.
The survey found that 37% of unemployed Americans said they would return to work sooner if their employer offered paid family vacation. That is 45% of unemployed caregivers.
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Meanwhile, 58% of those who cut their working hours during the pandemic said they would increase them if their employer offered paid family vacations.
The results follow another survey conducted by the bipartisan Policy Center in April that found that approximately 10.6 million workers left their jobs due to caring responsibilities over the past year. Black and Hispanic workers were more likely to say that care had significantly affected their ability to work.
The compromise between care and work could become more difficult if federal unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed expire. In the meantime, the Covid-19 Delta variant could potentially undo plans to return to school for children or more traditional care services for the elderly and other dependents.
“In this environment, I think it’s important that parents and carers have flexibility in the workplace,” said Ben Gitis, deputy director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “What this survey shows is that paid family leave can be an important part of that equation.”
The Family and Sick Leave Act of 1993 helped institute unpaid leave for medical and family reasons.
Since then, advocates have been pushing for paid coverage.
To date, nine states and Washington, DC have introduced paid vacation programs.
The pandemic led to some changes, if only temporary. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act grants eligible families emergency paid vacation leave.
“This is an issue that has bipartisan support,” said Gitis as it helps empower families, improve employee loyalty, and stimulate the economy.
The big challenge facing lawmakers on both sides of the aisle is paying for it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, at a rally in Washington, DC in August 2020 organized by the Paid Leave for All cross-country bus tour.
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It could either be implemented as a social security program with a new payroll tax or provided through a tax credit, Gitis said.
President Joe Biden has proposed paying up to 12 weeks of paid family vacation through tax increases. His plan, which is to be staggered over 10 years, would cost about $ 225 billion, according to government estimates. Another plan, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, would phased out coverage faster and cost an estimated $ 500 billion over 10 years.
In contrast, the Interim Act to Combat Families on Coronavirus, which was endorsed by both parties, granted small to medium-sized employers a tax credit.
The Democrats want to try to enforce their platform through reconciliation, which would only require a simple majority in the Senate.
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