Following much-discussed articles like Anne-Marie Slaughter's Atlantic piece, the question of work-life balance—particularly for women—is again in the spotlight, and that's a very good thing, writes Sarah Seltzer at Salon. The fact is, the US is embarrassingly behind on the issue. But a few policy changes could make a big difference:
- Paid sick and family leave should be required by law. We're the only developed country in the world that doesn't require paid maternity leave. Nor do we have laws covering time off to care for the elderly, or for our own sick days.
- Let's require employers to provide paid vacation days. Again, we're pretty much the only developed country that doesn't mandate them. British workers get five weeks; Germans a month. Time off can actually increase productivity, helping workers refresh.
- We need universal, affordable public daycare for our kids, preventing a false choice between bringing home cash and raising children. In-office daycare facilities are a good start.
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