Yesterday, Walmart made headlines by announcing – among other things – that it would be expanding its paid parental leave policy. New mothers will now receive 10 weeks of paid leave and new dads will receive 6 weeks. That is, if they are full-time workers.
At 1,000 Days, we are pleased to see a corporate giant like Walmart take steps to address the needs of its workforce by expanding its paid parental leave policy. While this is a positive step forward for a share of Walmart workers, the expanded paid leave policy is still woefully inadequate as it does not cover part-time employees.
For children to have the strongest start in life, it is essential that all working parents, not just those working full-time, have access to at least 12 weeks of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Sufficient, comprehensive paid leave boosts the health and well-being of moms and babies, supports mothers’ ability to breastfeed, and increases families’ financial stability.
While it’s encouraging every time a business like Walmart recognizes the importance of paid leave, we cannot not settle for paid leave for some but not all working parents.
It’s time our lawmakers prioritize the health and economic security of families by enacting a comprehensive national paid leave policy.
Hopefully Walmart’s move will inspire our policymakers to act.