The Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy today submitted testimony to the House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee in favor of House Bill 628 to establish an employee-funded family and medical leave insurance program in New Hampshire.
The committee met to consider the bipartisan bill for the first time since its introduction this session, hearing from advocates, health care providers, and business leaders on the importance of family and medical leave insurance to New Hampshire families and businesses.
"Caregiving responsibilities are driving people who want to work out of our workforce. As our population ages, and workforce participation of parents with young children grows, the need for sensible family leave policies has increased," said Amanda Sears, Director of the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. "Paid leave helps aging workers stay in the workforce longer, increases success rates for substance abuse recovery, and leads to higher workforce participation among new parents."
HB 628 will establish an employee-funded family and medical leave insurance program, providing up to 12 weeks per year of partial wage replacement for time to care for a family or personal medical emergency, or the birth or adoption of a new child. Family and medical leave insurance is supported by 82 percent of Granite Staters, and draws majority support across all political affiliations.
"This bill provides a critical recruitment tool for New Hampshire businesses," said Jeff Baker, CEO of Manchester-based marketing firm Image 4. "House Bill 628 helps to provide a potentially level playing field for the small businesses that are working to attract and retain a professional workforce."
Currently, only one third of New Hampshire workers have access to paid family and medical leave, leaving too many Granite Staters without the security of knowing they can maintain their financial stability and care for an ill or newborn family member when they need to.