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Utah business joins growing trend, offers paid paternity leave

By Mike Headrick | Posted - Jun 24th, 2013 @ 6:37pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — While most companies offer some sort of maternity leave, more companies are beginning to offer paternity leave as part of their employee benefit package, including a company right here in Utah.

David Dunkley has worked at Lehi-based company AtTask for five years. During that time, his family has grown significantly.

"I have five kids," Dunkley said.

He says he's never been at a company that encouraged him to take time off when a new baby came — until now.

"I said, 'Hey guess what, not only do I get to take time off but AtTask has given me a couple of days as well just to be here with you,' " he told his family.

"We've got a lot of dads here," said Austin Miller, director of human resources at AtTask. "We have a relatively young demographic, and with that it provides us a good opportunity to give back to our families and reward our employees for all the hard work that they do."

Right now, AtTask offers two paid days of paternity leave with plans to expand that to a full week.

"We love work and we're here to work hard and do good things. But at the same point, our employees and their families are the most important asset we have," Miller said.

AtTask is not alone in that school of thought. Adobe offers two full weeks of paid paternity leave, and JP Morgan Chase offers one week off for the non-primary caregiver of the home and up to 12 weeks if the father is the primary caregiver.

Yahoo! made headlines this month when it announced all news dads could have eight paid weeks off of work. It's all part of a growing movement that recognizes dads need time with their new babies, too.

"Honestly, families are more important than work, right?" Miller said.

Dunkley says he appreciates that time off.

"The stress level is obviously really high," Dunkley said. "It's nice when work can just make that time a little less stressful."

Studies show offering paternity leave creates higher employee satisfaction, employee retention and work productivity.


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