There has been a significant shift in how employers view paid leave programs in recent years. Once considered merely an employee benefit, paid leave is now recognized as an aspect of workplace culture, attracting and retaining top talent. With evolving legislation and changing societal expectations, many employers are reevaluating their leave policies to stay compliant and competitive in today’s job market. 


Traditionally, paid leave programs have included vacation time, sick leave, and holidays. These programs aim to give employees time off to rest, recharge, and attend to personal matters without sacrificing financial wellness and stability. However, as the workforce demographics evolve and priorities shift, employers are expanding their view of paid leave to include parental leave, caregiving leave, and even mental health days. 

One significant change driving this shift is the introduction of new legislation aimed at expanding paid leave benefits. Several states and municipalities have enacted paid family leave laws, requiring employers to provide employees with paid time off for family-related reasons such as childbirth, adoption, or caring for a sick family member. For example, the recent implementation of the CO FAMILI legislation has significantly altered the legislative framework for western states. Ever mounting momentum at the federal level to mandate paid leave for all workers continues to prompt employers to reassess their leave policies. 


Expanding paid leave programs can indeed yield numerous benefits for employers, serving as a valuable investment in both their workforce and organizational success. One significant advantage is the enhanced ability to attract and retain top talent in today’s highly competitive job market. By offering generous leave benefits, employers can differentiate themselves as employers of choice, appealing to skilled professionals who prioritize a supportive and inclusive workplace culture. This can lead to a stronger employer brand and a more robust pipeline of qualified candidates for open positions. 

Moreover, expanded paid leave programs can have a positive impact on employee morale, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. Employees who feel supported by their employers with ample time off to rest and attend to personal matters are more likely to feel valued and engaged in their work. This, in turn, can translate to higher levels of productivity, as employees return to work refreshed and motivated to contribute to the organization’s success. Additionally, employees who feel satisfied with their leave benefits are more likely to remain loyal to their employer, reducing turnover rates and associated costs such as recruitment, training, and lost productivity.1 

While there are clear benefits to expanding paid leave programs, it’s essential for employers to also consider the associated costs. Offering additional leave benefits may entail direct expenses such as salary continuation during leave periods or the hiring of temporary staff to cover for absent employees. There may be indirect costs related to productivity losses or disruptions to workflow when employees are on leave. However, these costs must be weighed against the potential benefits of improved employee attraction, retention, and overall satisfaction.  


The expanding view of paid leave reflects a growing recognition of its significance in today’s workplace. By embracing this shift and prioritizing comprehensive leave benefits, employers may position themselves to attract and retain top talent while creating a supportive and inclusive work environment and guarding against disruption caused by unmanaged leave.  

At MJ, we understand the vital role of efficient leave and absence management programs in promoting productivity, maintaining work-life balance, and supporting employee wellbeing. Our experienced Leave and Absence Management team provides guidance and support, empowering you to navigate the changing regulatory landscape with confidence. From ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations to designing customized leave programs tailored to your workforce’s needs, we’re committed to helping you thrive. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you put your future in focus.  


  1. Mike, Ramsey. “An Expanding View of Paid Leave.” SHRM. Accessed Jan 31, 2024.