A 2014 study by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research identified the benefits of paid family leave. “Research shows that paid leave increases the likelihood that workers will return to work after childbirth, improves employee morale, has no or positive effects on workplace productivity, reduces costs to employers through improved employee retention, and improves family incomes,” the report found.

There have also been studies showing that in countries with more generous maternity leave policies, women are less likely to advance and companies are less likely to hire women into full-time jobs.