Paid Leave Bill is Now a Law!

Posted on 05/16/22

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AARP Delaware is thrilled that Governor Carney signed Senate Bill 1 into law. The bill allows workers to take time off from their paid jobs to recuperate from their own illness or to care for a loved one or a new baby, without the fear of losing their paycheck. Here in Delaware, more than 129,000 unpaid family caregivers provide critical assistance to help their older parents, spouses and other loved ones live independently in their homes; many do so while also juggling full or part-time jobs. Family caregivers help their loved ones with a range of daily activities, such as managing medications, providing complex medical care, bathing, dressing, preparing meals, and much more.  Caring for mom, dad or a spouse can be expensive, isolating and stressful enough without the fear of losing your paycheck—or job. Senate Bill 1, soon to be a law, also known as the Healthy Delaware Families Act, allows Delaware workers to take time off to care for a loved one without fear of losing a paycheck. Employers will benefit from better productivity and less stress among employees.

“This legislation is a win-win for workers and employers,” said George Meldrum, State President of AARP Delaware, which serves more than 189,000 members aged 50 and older in the state. “Family caregivers save Delawareans money by keeping their loved ones out of taxpayer-funded nursing homes and preventing costly hospitalizations. It’s time Delaware stepped up to the plate and delivered this commonsense support for those caregivers who also work full or part-time jobs.”

Unpaid family caregivers in Delaware contribute more than 108 million hours of unpaid care each year, valued at approximately $1,580 million annually.

Recent research by AARP found that if employers and governments enacted more supports for working family caregivers aged 50 and older, not only would the productivity of these workers increase, the policies could also cause the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by as much as $1.7 trillion by 2030.

“Paid family leave also benefits employers because it increases employee loyalty and retention – which often saves an employer money by avoiding separation costs as well as the costs of recruiting, hiring and training new workers,” added Meldrum.

AARP Delaware thanks Senator Sarah McBride and Rep. Deb Heffernan for sponsoring the bill and working so hard to ensure its passage.

This story is provided by AARP Delaware. Visit the AARP Delaware page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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