Trump’s proposal excludes two key groups who take advantage of family leave policies, namely those who are providing care to family members or who have personal medical issues. Those two groups account for 75 percent of those who take advantage of leave policies, Shabo said, citing data from the Department of Labor.
In addition, Trump’s proposal provides for a six week leave. In contrast, current federal law under the Family and Medical Leave Act allows some workers to take up to 12 weeks off. Another proposal put forth by Congress, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, known by the name FAMILY, also provides for a 12-week leave.
The losers as a result of such a policy would likely be women, namely those who have low incomes and are of child-bearing ages, Strain said.
For many families, there is a decline in income starting the month before a child is born and continuing until well after birth, noted Elizabeth Peters, institute fellow at Urban Institute, an economic and social policy think tank.
“This at least goes part ways to supporting families at this critical time,” Peters said, noting that the U.S. and Papua New Guinea are two of the only countries with no mandated paid leave.
The question is whether a plan will be progressive, Peters said, and replace income at a higher rate for low-income families that are hit the hardest.
Still, Trump’s family leave proposal could face an uphill battle, Strain said, without much support from Republican legislators.
“It’s another spending program and Republicans are kind of averse to starting new entitlement programs,” Strain said. “It has to be paid for somehow and certainly increasing payroll taxes is something Republicans would shy away from.”
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