Panorama and American Sustainable Business Council New Study Shows Positive Return to Companies Offering Paid Leave

Media Release

Washington, DC – New research shows paid leave programs have a positive return on investment (ROI) for companies that offer the benefit. In the first known quantitative study to consider the impact of paid leave on productivity, Panorama and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) found that companies with paid leave programs averaged increases of 4.6 percent in revenue and 6.8 percent in profit on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis. 

“This new research provides evidence that you can offer paid leave to your employees and still run a profitable business,” said Gabrielle Fitzgerald, CEO and Founder of Panorama. “Companies don’t have to choose between supporting their staff and growing their profits. They can do both.” 

“These findings should help policymakers understand that paid leave is not just a benefit to society, but to businesses’ bottom lines and the economy as a whole,” said David Levine, Co-founder and President of ASBC. “That’s why we need a comprehensive paid leave program offered to every American family no matter where they work or live.”  

The report, “The Business Impact of Paid Leave,” focused on 41 companies selected from a large database of 10,000 companies. Companies were selected based on having sufficient data from the past five years both on their paid leave programs and on their finances. They are all large, publicly traded U.S. companies that started offering or expanded a paid leave policy between 2013 and 2018. 

The study also looked specifically at the technology and manufacturing industries. In recent years, large technology companies made news as they expanded paid leave policies, some providing up to one year of paid leave. Thirty-four percent of technology companies offered paid leave in 2016. On the other end of the spectrum, manufacturing has lower adoption of paid leave, with only 9% of “goods-producing” companies offered paid leave in 2016 [Source].  

The report found that both industries benefitted from offering paid leave programs, with the technology sector averaging a 25.8% profit increase per FTE and manufacturers averaging a 10.9% increase.  

Paid family and medical leave (PFML) is an important benefit when considering the needs of the American workforce. Although the Family and Medical Leave Act requires large employers to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave, the U.S. has no federal law requiring employers to offer paid leave. This leaves the decision of providing paid leave benefits up to employers, some of which, like those in this report, offer paid leave to their employees. However, this leaves out most of the workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2017 that only 13% of private sector workers had access to PFML. 

According to the Panorama/ASBC report, the biggest barrier to businesses adopting or expanding a PFML policy remains the limited understanding of the business impacts. A 2018 survey of human resources professionals, by Panorama and noted in the report, found that 70% of businesses that do not offer paid leave perceive cost as the most significant barrier to offering a PFML benefit.  

“This report provides all businesses the economic data so they can move forward with the knowledge that paid leave is good for business, employees and the economy,” said Levine. 

“The Business Impact of Paid Leave” may be downloaded from here: Journalists may request emailed copies from Bob Keener 617-610-6766,, or Amy Dempsey, 949-701-3438,

Panorama is an action tank dedicated to solving local and global problems through audacious thinking and bold action. We bring together diverse perspectives to spark new ideas that create change. Panorama is a team of strategists, advocates, campaigners, analysts, storytellers, resource mobilizers, and organizational designers with deep experience in foundations, non-governmental organizations, private companies, and public institutions. We are all inspired by a life-long commitment to improve the world.