Paid Leave for All: COVID-19 demonstrates why we need paid medical and caregiving leave— and why it should be structured as a linked social insurance and public assistance program

Center for the Study of Social Policy

The COVID-19 pandemic is throwing into sharp relief the need for paid sick days and paid leave, so that everyone can take time to care for themselves or loved ones who are sick, quarantined, and out of school as the [U.S.] confronts an unprecedented public health and economic crisis. In the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Congress established temporary paid sick days and paid leave for some workers. This legislation is an important first step toward ensuring people have access to paid leave, but millions of workers are not covered by its provisions, and covered workers are not able to take paid leave to meet the full range of their caregiving responsibilities, including caring for adults with disabilities or aging relatives. A much more robust and permanent solution is necessary to ensure that everyone has access to paid leave who needs it, during this immediate crisis, and into the future.