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piad maternity leave, grandparents paid leave, build back better

A grandmother holding her newborn grandchild.

Most grandparents play an important role in helping their families when their children welcome a new child into the world.

Grandparents can be called on to watch over the family’s older children while their parents care for the newborn in the hospital. They also may have to run errands, take care of pets or stop by the house and watch the newborn so the new parents can get some much-needed rest.

For many grandparents, this involves traveling across the country and taking time off work to support their growing families. Becoming a new grandparent means taking on a whole host of responsibilities. However, we never hear about grandparents getting paid leave to help their families.

Saga, a U.K. travel and insurance company for the over-50s, is showing support for the grandparents who work at their company by offering a week of paid leave to celebrate the birth of a grandchild.


“This is about helping new grandparents celebrate a special moment and play a role in growing families from day one,” said Jane Storm, the chief people officer at Saga. “It is also a symbol of how important older workers are to their companies and society.

“Our customers are mostly over 50 and we want to have more colleagues here that reflect the community we serve,” Storm continued. “We also think this idea should be a key attraction for retention and recruitment.”

In addition to getting a week off, all grandparents will have access to the company’s onsite nursery in Folkestone, Kent. While the new company policy is a wonderful gesture for their older employees, for some, having time off for their grandchildren is a practical concern.

In the U.K. about 40% of grandparents aged over 50 provide regular childcare for their grandchildren.

“Embracing family-friendly working practices makes business sense,” said Justine Roberts, the founder of the online community Gransnet. “Employers who recognize the fact that their employees have relationships and responsibilities outside of work will reap the rewards of increased loyalty and staff wellbeing.”

Americans have to be shaking their heads at how far Europeans have progressed when it comes to paid family leave. The U.S. has no federal law granting paid family leave. In fact, in the U.S. only 21% of workers have access to paid family leave through their employers.

In the U.K., Statutory Maternity Leave grants new mothers up to 39 weeks of paid leave. For the first six weeks, they are paid 90% of their average weekly earnings. And for the next 33, they are eligible for £151.97 ($204) a week or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever amount is lower.

Four weeks of paid leave were added to the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better bill in early November. However, the bill’s fate is now in jeopardy after losing the tie-breaking vote of Democratic West Virginia senator Joe Manchin. Manchin said that he wouldn’t vote for the Build Back Better bill last Sunday on Fox News citing inflation worries.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

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This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

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This article originally appeared on 01.22.19


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn't have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women's rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn't something we'd choose—and we'd hope others wouldn't choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

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