Elaine Weiss, Director of Policy

Paid Family and Medical Leave policy

The many challenges associated with caregiving – for small children, older adults, and people of all ages who are living with disabilities – have increasingly been recognized in recent decades. Advocates for policies and programs that support caregivers have gained traction with policymakers at both the state and national levels through national campaigns such as Care Can’t Wait and the Academy’s seminal report on Designing Universal Family Care. These efforts have helped advance laws in, a growing number of states, including Washington and Hawaii, that provide public support for care and/or improve compensation for providers. 

Yet, even now, few policy discussions have focused on another key group of stakeholders – employers. And when their stake in the issue is discussed, employers are often depicted as the potential losers of policies that support caregivers. But the evidence clearly demonstrates that, not only are employers among the winners, but they would greatly benefit from more and stronger such policies 

Women small business owners, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed

A recent discussion convened by the National Women’s Business Council focused on a particular group of employers – women small-business owners, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed – that is especially neglected. On May 9, panelists explored the need for paid leave and related policies to support these employers, the various benefits such policies provide, and the implications for employers more broadly, including the need for more fact-based communication that represents the real voices of business owners, rather than those of just a few of the largest and most dominant. 

As a participant in this group, which advises the President, Congress, and the federal Small Business Administration on a range of important policy topics, I invite you to read the recap. We welcome your thoughts and feedback and look forward to other opportunities to explore this issue! 


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