Paid Parental Leave: Implementing Cosourced Programs

Tasha Patterson@Work


Paid Parental Leave: Implementing Cosourced Programs to Boost Recruiting, Retention, and DEI

By Thomas Bookman

Practice Leader
The Partners Group

By Tim Kelly

Managing Director
The Partners Group

By Holly Witt

Practice Leader and Partner
The Partners Group

Competitive pressures for attracting and retaining talent and an increasing number of state-mandated programs have contributed to increases in paid parental leave (PPL) benefit offerings. Over half of employers (55%) now offer paid maternity leave, 45% offer paid paternity leave, 35% provide paid extended family care leave, and more are considering these benefits. However, we have found the broad scope of designing and implementing PPL can deter even the most organized of human resource (HR) teams.

This article takes you through a comprehensive framework of implementing PPL in a co-sourced program environment utilizing our handy mnemonic device, PADDLE.

The PADDLE framework is a six-phase process: planning, asking, drawing, deliberating, legislating, and executing. With your PADDLE in hand, let’s dive into each phase, applying it directly to implementing PPL solutions.


Charting your course in the planning phase is of paramount importance to successful execution. Start with the 30,000-foot view and allow your overall benefits strategy to guide you as you solidify some key details. Identify and engage all key stakeholders early on to avoid duplicate presentations that waste time and to ensure a more holistic plan and process design later in the implementation. Navigating the planning phase strategically will help to reduce your overall timeline significantly.

The single-most important question to answer initially is: “What is your strategic objective — your ‘why’?” The answer to this question will shape later phases in this process, most notably the asking and drawing phases. What is the primary driver of your PPL conversation? Is it recruiting or retaining the best talent? Is it bringing resources to valued demographics in your diversity, equity, and inclusion mission?

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