Family Value

The Standard Partners with DMEC to Survey Employers on Paid Family Leave Benefits

Survey provides baseline of employers’ attitudes toward, and adoption of, PFL benefits

August 17 — PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Standard Insurance Company (The Standard) partnered with the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) to survey employers from across the country regarding the growing trend of providing Paid Family Leave benefits.

Of the 320 employers surveyed, 32 percent currently offer PFL programs, 64 percent of which include bonding time with a new child. Of the employers that offer PFL programs, 57 percent provide more than three weeks of paid leave. Of the participants who do not have PFL, 34 percent do offer some form of paid parental leave benefits.

A Patchwork of Benefits

“The United States is one of three industrialized countries without a national paid maternal leave program. To accommodate for this gap, many employers provide a patchwork of benefits such as short-term disability and paid time off, but these benefits often fail to meet broader family caregiving needs such as helping to care for children or aging loved ones,” said Terri Rhodes, chief executive officer at DMEC. “Providing PFL benefits will continue to be an important aspect for employers, both from attracting new talent to retaining existing employees many employees are part of the sandwich generation where they are caring for their own children, aging parents, or both.”

While more than one-third of employers surveyed do have PFL benefits in place, for many survey respondents, incorporating a PFL program into their own workforce may take some time. Eighteen percent of surveyed employers anticipate including PFL programs in their benefits coverage this year, while 33 percent hope to offer it in 2018. Forty-one percent predict adding the benefits to their coverage portfolio could take three to five years.

“Employers from a variety of industries are starting to proactively offer PFL programs to meet the increasing needs of their employees, including caregiving coverage for children and loved ones,” said Breanna Scott, director of product and service development at The Standard. “Not only can offering PFL benefits help increase employee retention and recruitment efforts, but it also can translate into better employee engagement and overall productivity for an organization.”

Not only can offering PFL benefits help increase employee retention and recruitment efforts, but it also can translate into better employee engagement and overall productivity for an organization

As more employers begin adding PFL benefits into their programs, there are also numerous pieces of proposed legislation at the state and federal levels that could expedite PFL implementation. Currently, three states have in-force legislation, two states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation that has yet to take effect, and 16 states have proposed legislation in their state legislatures.

Compliance Issues

“The current ad-hoc approach from states is likely to generate compliance issues for employers, as provisions differ from state to state,” said Scott. “It will become increasingly important for employers to be aware of state and local regulations, especially if they have implemented their own programs.”

For employers weighing the addition of PFL benefits in their own organization, Scott recommends analyzing the following considerations:

  • Is PFL novel or competitive within your industry?
  • Do you have any employees based out of state where PFL is statutorily required?
  • What are the demographics and needs of your workforce?
  • Would a program like this complement your company culture or offerings?




To schedule an interview with Breanna Scott and Terri Rhodes about Paid Family Leave, please contact Cassandra Bergemann ( and Tasha Patterson (
About The Standard
The Standard is a marketing name for StanCorp Financial Group, Inc. and subsidiaries. Insurance products are offered by Standard Insurance Company of 1100 SW Sixth Avenue, Portland, Oregon, in all states except New York, where insurance products are offered by The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York of 360 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 210, White Plains, New York. Product features and availability vary by state and company and are solely the responsibility of each subsidiary. Each company is solely responsible for its own financial condition. Standard Insurance Company is licensed to solicit insurance business in all states except New York. The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York is licensed to solicit insurance business in only the state of New York.
About DMEC
The Disability Management Employer Coalition is the only association dedicated to providing focused education, knowledge and networking for absence and disability professionals. Through its national education programs and network of local chapters, DMEC delivers trusted strategies, tools and resources to minimize lost work time, improve workforce productivity, and maintain legally compliant absence and disability programs. Visit for more information.