New dads need a nudge to take leave

As more companies adopt generous paternity leave policies, they are running into a familiar obstacle: Convincing new dads that it’s okay to take the time off, according to The Wall Street Journal.

One in three men say they worry taking paternity leave will have a detrimental effect on their careers, and over half of respondents said they worried taking their full allotment of time would signal a lack of commitment, according to a survey by Deloitte.
Companies including Facebook, American Express and Twitter have launched campaigns and support groups to encourage new dads to take leave.
There’s a business case for such efforts: Those who take parental leave end up missing work less often and are ultimately more productive when they return from leave.

Parental leave
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Parental leave or family leave is an employee benefit available in almost all countries. The term “parental leave” generally includes maternity, paternity, and adoption leave. A distinction between “maternity leave” and “parental leave” is sometimes made- maternity leave as the mother’s leave time directly before and after childbirth and parental leave being the time given to care for newborns. In some countries and jurisdictions, “family leave” also includes leave provided to care for ill family members. Often, the minimum benefits and eligibility requirements are stipulated by law.

Unpaid parental or family leave is provided when an employer is required to hold an employee’s job while that employee is taking leave. Paid parental or family leave provides paid time off work to care for or make arrangements for the welfare of a child or dependent family member. The three most common models of funding are social insurance/social security (where employees, employers, or taxpayers in general contribute to a specific public fund), employer liability (where the employer must pay the employee for the length of leave), and mixed policies that combine both social security and employer liability.

Parental leave has been available as a legal right and/or governmental program for many years, in one form or another. In 2014, the International Labour Organization reviewed parental leave policies in 185 countries and territories, and found that all countries except Papua New Guinea have laws mandating some form of parental leave.[4] A different study showed that of 186 countries examined, 96% offered some pay to mothers during leave, but only 81 of those countries offered the same for fathers. The United States, Suriname, Papua New Guinea, and several island countries in the Pacific Ocean are the only countries that do not require employers to provide paid time off for new parents.

Private employers sometimes provide either or both unpaid and paid parental leave outside of or in addition to any legal mandate.

Knitting: about it

If the only thing knitting did was stop you from touching your smartphone for a few minutes a day, it would be worth it. Almost half of the world’s population uses social media for an average of two hours per day, usually on their smartphones. While compulsively checking Instagram and Twitter can keep us occupied, it has also been shown to increase anxiety, depression, and disrupt our sleep. Knitting not only keeps your hands off your phone but it has basically the opposite effects. Where smartphones hurt, knitting heals. Knitters report effects similar to meditation, including calming and increased concentration. It has been used to help quit smoking, control weight, and has even been shown to stave off cognitive decline associated with aging. Knitting, in short, is good for you. What’s better: it gives you an endless supply of one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones.

All of this is why knitting has been at the vanguard of the DIY craft revival in the 21st century. Grandmas still knit, but they’ve been joined increasingly by young women, men, and celebrities such as Winona Ryder, Julia Roberts, and Ryan Gosling. Here’s everything you need to know to get started yourself.