Rockville, MD, March 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Family vacations and medical vacations, which are always a critical need for working families, have become increasingly important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as workers become increasingly sick and sick The family has to be looked after by members. A new study, funded by the US Department of Labor and conducted by Abt Associates, shows that women and low-wage workers face disproportionately significant economic hardship when they leave work for family and medical reasons. The study was conducted before the pandemic, and these inequalities have likely worsened as they disproportionately affected women and low-paid workers.

The study examined the use of vacation by employees under the Federal Law on Family and Sick Leave, which qualified employees for certain reasons of family and sick leave up to 12 weeks of unpaid vacation per year and up to 26 weeks of vacation in a period of 12 months guaranteed time for the care of a service member. While employers are not required to pay while on vacation, some workers may receive payment while on vacation through vacation and sick leave or government-paid family leave.

Women typically do most of the health care responsibilities for their family members, including looking after a new child. But the report found:

• While more women need and take more vacation than men, they have greater unmet vacation needs.

• During vacation, fewer women than men receive full wages (32 percent versus 55 percent) and more receive no wages (41 percent versus 25 percent).

• More women than men borrow money, postpone paying bills, and receive public support to cover lost wages.

Vacation is also vital for low-wage workers, who are less able to afford to take time off to look after family members. Yet:

• Low-wage workers have less access to paid vacation for their own severe health condition than non-low-wage workers (52 percent versus 80 percent).

• Only about a third of low-wage workers are entitled to FMLA occupational health and safety, compared to about two-thirds of higher-paid workers.

• When low-wage workers take vacation, they are more likely to lose their jobs (18 percent versus 5 percent) and more likely to need to borrow or seek public assistance to cover lost wages.

“We hope the results of the study will influence the increasingly important political discussions about economic difficulties faced by employees when they take leave from work for family and medical reasons,” said Radha Roy, the project leader.

Read the full reports.

Share Low Wage Workers Experience Report

Gender-specific differences in the needs and vacation reports


About Abt Associates

Abt Associates is a global consulting and research company that uses data and bold thinking to improve people’s quality of life. From fighting infectious diseases to conducting rigorous program evaluations to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing – and more – we work with customers and communities to address their most complex challenges.

Stan Crock Abt Associates 301 347-5402 [email protected]

Comments are closed.