Paid Family Leave

Paid Family Leave

The Paid Family Leave is an established Insurance Program, which requires employees to make contributions into a trust fund to be used to provide employees with family leave insurance benefits in order to care for a designated person.


What’s The Problem?


  • The Unites States is one of three countries in the world without Paid Maternity Leave, and is one of the only developed countires without Paid Family Leave
  • Only 12 percent of workers have access to paid family leave, and PFL is most often given to workers in the highest 25 percent for their industry
  • Fewer than 50 percent of American workers have access to personal medical leave
  • A majority of the American workforce cannot afford to take unpaid medical or family leave
  • Millions of American workers have caregiving responsibilities for both young children and aging parents
  • By 2050 the population of over the age of 65 in the United States will be 20.2 percent



  • 0 percent of Hawaii employees have access to Paid Family Leave
  • Hawaii has the fastest-growing age 65+ population in the Nation
  • Approximately 247,000 people in Hawaii serve as UNPAID caregivers
  • 63 percent of children are part of a family where ALL parents work
  • A majority of Hawaii’s workforce cannot afford to take UNPAID family leave
  • The legislature found that Hawaii’s working families are NOT sufficiently supported during times of caregiving and sickness


The only alternatives to PFL in the United States are:

Family & Medical Leave Act (1993)

  • Allows up to 12 weeks of UNPAID leave, per year, to care for yourself or a family member
  • Must have worked at this company for at least a 1 year term and the compnay must have 50+ employees
  • Fewer than 50 percent of workers in the United States are qualified for this leave
  • A majority of Americans cannot afford to take FMLA


Hawaii Family Leave Law

  •  Allows up to 12 weeks of UNPAID leave, per year, to care for yourself or a family member
  • You must have worked at this company for at least 6-months and the compnay must have 50+ employees
  • A majority of Hawaii’s workforce cannot afford to take this unpaid leave


Paid Family Leave: provided by your private employer

  • Your private employer must agree to provide Paid Family Leave to you as an employee
  • Only 12% of American have access to this type of Paid Family Leave


What’s the Solution?

Let’s Make PFL Law

  • Implementing a Paid Family Leave insurance program would allow an employee to take 12 weeks during a year to care for a family member
  • The income earned while on PFL would come from an insurance program that an individual pays into from their weekly wages
  • The monies accessed during leave would not exceed 55 percent of the employees weekly wages


What Having PFL Would Mean

  • Women are more likely to return back to work after giving birth, increasing worker retention and reducing turnover
  • Parents are less likely to use and rely on public assistance benefits
  • Only 0.4 percent of workers are away from work and out on parental leave in an average week in the US
  • PFL is associated with a 20 percent decrease in infant mortality and improvements in child health
  • Adults can provide quality aid to their family members when met with serious illnesses


Legislation for PFL

National Legislature

Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act

A national paid family and medical leave insurance program would benefit workers, their families, businesses and our economy

  • Provide qualified workers with up to 12 weeks of partial income to take time to attend to a personal serious health condition, a serious health condition of a designated family member, and military caregiving/leave purposes
  • Allow workers to earn up to 66 percent of their monthly income
  • This insurance program would qualify for all workers regardless of their company’s size
  • The insurance program would equal to two cents per $10 in wages earned, averaging about $2 per week for a typical worker


Hawaii Legislature

Paid Family Leave Act

In 2016, 4 bills were proposed in Hawaii legislature to establish a family leave insurance program

  • S.B. 2961, S.B. 2477, H.B. 1911, H.B. 2128
  • The purpose of these acts were to ensure Hawaii employees received family leave insurance benefits during times when they needed to provide care for their families
  • They consisted of employee contributions based on the employee’s average weekly wage
  • The trust fund provided a “covered individual” with up to twelve weeks during any calendar year of paid family leave for a “designated person”


How to Get Involved


Submitting testimony is a very important part in helping bills pass through legislation. Having public support through testimony can influence committees to vote for bills that the public wants.


The steps to submitting testimony for the Hawaii State Legislature are fairly simple

  1. Go to

  2. Create an account

  3. After creating an account you can submit testimony for any bill by going to the bill’s page and clicking on the blue, “Submit Testimony” box

    • That will then lead you to a page where you enter your information and can submit your testimony