What should you do if your employer does not offer short-term disability insurance covering maternity leave?
Ask them to provide a voluntary program! Buying privately does not solve the problem for working women planning a pregnancy.
Almost every United States employer should be offering paid maternity benefits this way – but far too many do not. They think nobody wants to participate – because far too many workers are afraid to ask.
Learn how to negotiate paid maternity leave with your boss by asking the right questions, and making the request at the right time. Ask them to provide voluntary short-term disability and one other program. There is no direct cost to employers, and you have no viable alternative.
Asking for Paid Maternity Leave at Work
Asking for paid maternity leave at work is much easier than you think. Even if an employer does not offer short-term disability insurance, many women can get the help they need. A simple solution exists to make better benefits available for more families having children.
Workers just need to know the keys to negotiation, ask the right questions, and make their request at the right time. Download our talking points to get the ball rolling (On the right-hand column for desktop users. Mobile users can scroll to the bottom or click here).
Keys to Negotiation
We suggest two strategies for negotiating paid maternity leave with a new or existing job. Both options maximize the value to the employee while minimizing costs to the employer. Both involve asking for the right thing.
Getting your employer to offer short-term disability is the first key negotiating strategy for paid maternity leave. The policy replaces a portion of income during the time mom is unable to work. The insurance company makes the claims payments.
- Pregnancy disability leave before childbirth
- Maternity leave while recovering from normal labor and delivery
- Extended maternity leave due to postpartum complications
Getting your employer to offer hospital indemnity insurance is the second key negotiating strategy for paid maternity leave. The insurance company makes cash payments directly to mom when she admits herself to the hospital.
- Normal labor and delivery is a covered medical event
- Newborns confined to NICU receive a second cash payment
Questions to Ask Employer
Any good sales training program will instruct you to begin by asking the right questions. Below are suggested questions worth asking your employer about paid maternity leave. The questions help bosses to realize they should offer short-term disability to all workers.
- Are you aware that our state does not provide paid family leave?
- Do you realize that our state does not provide temporary disability benefits?
- Are you aware that private policies do not cover normal childbirth?
- What would happen to the family of any worker who became seriously sick or hurt?
- Would expanding benefit options improve employee morale?
- Could maternity leave programs help you attract and retain employees?
- Would lowering payroll taxes help the business or agency?
- Are you willing to support a payroll deduction to help employees?
- Will you provide an agent the courtesy of your office and 30 minutes of your time?
- Can the employees learn about the options at work and enroll if they choose?
When to Make Request
The timing around when to request paid maternity leave from your employer via short-term disability is very harsh. Unfortunately, most women miss the deadline for at least one of three reasons.
- Purchasing while pregnant negates the maternity leave benefit
- A preterm delivery could cause you to deliver inside a 9-month exclusion period.
- It often takes extra time to convince a manager to move ahead with a voluntary option.
Ask Employer to Offer Voluntary Short-term Disability
If short-term disability insurance is not offered through your employer, ask them for a voluntary option. The primary reason why most do not provide voluntary benefits is pathetic.
They think nobody is interested!
Many insurance agents make hundreds of phone calls every week to decision makers just like yours. They duck the calls and make up lame excuses.
Make your voice heard. You have no viable alternative through private channels, and the employer bears no direct cost to give you this valuable option. Download our talking points and start the ball rolling. (Desktop users find the form on the top right-hand column. Mobile users can scroll to the bottom or click here).
No Viable Alternative
If your employer does not offer short-term disability, female workers have no viable alternative for maternity leave pay. Most states have few government-based programs to help. Going outside in order to purchase a private policy falls short of the mark.
Private short-term disability plans do not cover mom’s recovery from normal labor and delivery. Most women experience a healthy pregnancy and normal childbirth. Private policies pay nothing when things go as planned.
Only plans provided through employer groups cover this planned medical event!
No Direct Cost
Your employer has few excuses for not offering short-term disability for maternity leave. They bear little of the direct cost and often can realize payroll tax savings when they do.
Employees pay for voluntary policies 100% by payroll deduction. This means that employers bear only the indirect cost of supporting a payroll deduction. The insurance agent does most of the legwork and provides the supporting documentation. Businesses bear only these very modest administrative tasks.
- Withhold money from employee checks according to their election.
- Forward withheld premiums to the insurance company once per month.
- Promptly notify the insurance company of any changes in deductions.
Employers often realize payroll tax savings when employees choose to make pre-tax deductions. This helps offset the modest administrative expense.