Protecting Workers, Nurturing Families: Building an Inclusive Family Leave Insurance Program
Findings and Recommendations from the New Jersey Parenting Project
This report presents findings and recommendations from the first in-depth look at the experiences of low-income workers with New Jersey’s paid family leave policy. New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (FLI) —one of only three in the nation—gives workers six weeks of paid time off per year to bond with a new child or care for a sick family member. However, few low-income workers use FLI. NCCP conducted a yearlong qualitative study with low-income working parents who recently welcomed a child into their family to find out how well the program is working for them, and ways it might be strengthened and reach even more working parents.
Paid family leave is particularly important for low-income workers, many of whom often lack support systems and savings to withstand a significant loss of income when they need to take leave from work to care for a loved one. NCCP launched The New Jersey Parenting Project and conducted focus groups and interviews with low-income working parents of young children in Newark, Camden, and Trenton, in partnership with Community Service Society of New York, The Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University, New Jersey Citizen Action, Advocates for Children of New Jersey, and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network.