74% Favor Paid Maternity Leave; 58% Support Paid Paternity Leave

Seventy-four percent (74%) of voters nationwide favor requiring companies to offer maternity leave to their female employees. A ScottRasmussen.com survey found that 58% also favor a requirement to offer paternity leave for male employees.

In both case, women are more supportive of the requirement than men. Younger voters are more supportive than their elders. Eighty-four percent (84%) of Democrats support paid maternity leave along with 72% of Independent voters and 63% of Republicans. As for paid paternity leave, it is supported by 70% of Democrats, 56% of Independent voters, and 45% of Republicans (see crosstab results).

Democratic Senator and presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of partial income while taking family leave. The plan would be paid for with a payroll tax and each payment would be matched by the employer. When told of the tax, 58% support the proposal and 42% are opposed. Those figures include 18% who Strongly Support the proposal and 17% who are Strongly opposed.

If a company offers paid family leave for both men and women, 50% believe more they should offer more time for women. Forty-six percent (46%) believe the time allowed should be equal while 4% said men should get more time.

If they were not under financial pressure to return to work, 38% believe most women would want to take 12 weeks or less of maternity leave. Forty-two percent (42%) believe women would want more time off, including 14% who think most women would prefer to leave their job permanently.

There is a collective expectation that men would want a shorter leave. In fact, nearly half (46%) think they’d prefer only a week or two at most. Another 20% think most men would want about a 12 week leave. Just 16% think they would want more than 12 weeks. That last figure includes 6% who think most men would prefer to leave their job permanently.

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The national survey of 1,002 Registered Voters was conducted February 20-21, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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