Seven in ten Americans say both mothers and fathers should get paid parental leave

Jamie BallardData Journalist
April 15, 2021, 4:00 PM GMT+0

Volvo recently announced that the company is increasing paid parental leave for employees globally to 24 weeks, regardless of gender. They follow in the footsteps of other companies like Netflix and Microsoft, both of which offer parental leave for both mothers and fathers. What do Americans think about businesses offering paid leave for fathers as well as mothers?

A new poll of more than 21,000 US adults finds that two-thirds (68%) of Americans say they think companies should offer both mothers and fathers paid parental leave. Women (75%) are 14 percentage points more likely than men (61%) to hold this view.

Though a majority of both mothers and fathers think businesses should offer paid leave to moms and dads, mothers (73%) of children 18 or younger are more likely than fathers (62%) to say this.

One in five fathers (21%) says that companies should offer parental leave to mothers, but not to fathers. Fewer (11%) mothers hold this same belief. Very few say businesses should offer leave to fathers, but not mothers (4% of fathers and 3% of mothers) or that they should not offer paid parental leave at all, to parents of either gender (5% of fathers and 3% of mothers).

Additional data from YouGov Profiles suggests that a person’s management level at their job might impact their views on parental leave.

Among those who are a partner (50%) or chief executive (52%) at their company, about half say companies should offer parental leave to both fathers and mothers. Three in 10 partners (29%) and just as many chief executives (29%) say leave should be offered to mothers, but not to fathers.

Among those who are owners or proprietors, 57% think companies should offer leave to both mothers and fathers. The number increases a bit among senior managers (64%), middle managers (65%), and junior managers/supervisors (68%).

Those Americans who don’t have any management responsibility are the most likely (75%) to say that companies should offer leave to both mothers and fathers.

See full results here.

Related: COVID-19 pandemic has had a particularly negative impact on mothers’ mental health

Methodology: 21,761 US adults were surveyed between March 25 – April 1, 2021. The responding sample is weighted to be representative of the US population.

Image: Getty

Explore more data & articles