More leave yields productivity

Camille Galles

Across the Twin Cities, families have been taking priority. Minneapolis’ new parental leave policy would offer new parents three weeks of paid leave, and it’s expected to take effect soon.
 
The University of Minnesota offers an even longer parental leave period, and its Relocation Assistance Program, which provides support such as helping faculty members’ partners find jobs, continues to be successful. 
 
As the United States Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of same-sex marriage this week, it’s important to remember that social equality and welfare policies increase productivity, rather than drain valuable resources. 
 
By prioritizing social and familial needs, the city of Minneapolis and the University have taken progressive, productive steps that should be more widely adopted.
 
The ability to marry who you want, take time off to care for a newborn or know that your spouse will be able to find a job in your new city is more than just a luxury.
 
Peace of mind and emotional health are key elements of productive employees, who ultimately add to the worth and value of the city, university or company they work for. Productivity isn’t separate from self-care — the two are inextricably linked. Policies that promote self-care will ultimately promote productivity. 
 
We should applaud Minneapolis for ensuring its policies affect all employees, not just those on the top tier. The University still has more work to do. Its parental leave policies are more generous for faculty than staff, and the Relocation Assistance Program regarding spouse employment appears to be used primarily by faculty as well. The next step is to develop strategies to implement these policies more inclusively — across the University, the state and the country.