At the Interim Joint Committee on Families and Children Committee Meeting Wednesday, Kentucky Chamber Center for Policy and Research Executive Director Dr. Charles Aull testified alongside representatives from the insurance industry on the benefit of implementing voluntary paid family leave insurance as a talent attraction and retention tool for Kentucky employers.
Paid family leave insurance is an insurance product that employers can purchase voluntarily through an insurance provider, offering income-replacement benefits for employees to take time off due to events including the arrival of a child or to care for a dependent.
As Kentucky is struggling with a workforce shortage, Aull added this is an opportunity for employers to improve talent attraction and retention efforts while also providing relief for working families.
Currently, Kentucky employers can offer paid family leave benefits through self-insurance models; however, the Chamber is advocating for legislation to authorize insurers to offer paid family leave insurance for employers to purchase on a voluntary basis. As discussed during the committee meeting, an insurance product could give employers more certainty and predictability when offering this type of benefit. It may also allow more employers a cost-effective avenue to offer paid family leave benefits. No mandates are associated with the proposal.
Aull said this legislation would create clear guidelines for employers, insurers, and regulators.
Aull pointed to legislation that has already been implemented with bipartisan support in states including Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, and Texas. He also noted that the National Conference of Insurance Legislators developed model legislation that Kentucky could use as guidance going forward.
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