Benefits Insights, Summer 2017
The Department of Labor (DOL) proposed budget for 2018 introduced a paid family leave plan that supports the goal of investing in priorities that provide working families access to paid leave.
The plan, which Ivanka Trump has been an active advocate for, would give both new and adoptive parents six weeks of paid family leave. Using the existing Unemployment Insurance system, the cost of paid leave would be offset by reforms to reduce improper payments.
Unemployment insurance is typically dispersed at the state level and provides partial and temporary wage replacement for people who have become unemployed and are actively searching for work. DOL said in a statement that the plan would permit states to organize paid parental leave programs appropriate for their workforce and economy.
While this is a new approach to providing a nationwide paid parental leave program, some experts question whether reforms to the UI system will be sufficient to fund a sustainable paid family leave program. Officials at DOL say the proposal is meant to kick-start the program, with states determining the long-term revenue streams.