More than two-thirds (70 per cent) of U.S. small- and medium-sized employers that offer parental leave are providing the same leave option to all employees, according to a new survey by Hub International Ltd.

The survey, which polled more than 500 employers, found 26 per cent provide paid parental leave, up from 23 per cent in 2021. More than a third (36 per cent) reported offering more paid leave now than they did two years ago.

Among employers that don’t offer paid parental leave, roughly 40 per cent cited cost as the primary factor for not offering it, while 30 per cent said they don’t offer additional paid leave because they operate in a state that has mandated paid family and medical leave requirements.

Read: Standard Chartered rolling out global parental leave benefits

Nearly a quarter of employers said they increased the number of holidays offered, compared to 14 per cent in 2021. More than half (53 per cent) of organizations that reconsidered holidays did so as a result of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

The survey also found companies with a workforce of more than 50 per cent women observed more paid holidays and increased the number of days off, while employers with a younger workforce were less likely to have reviewed their paid holidays due to DEI initiatives and were more likely to observe Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day.

Roughly half (52 per cent) of employers that offered paid time off did so as separate buckets of sick leave, vacation and personal time. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of employers modified their existing paid-time-off programs and, among these respondents, 56 per cent increased the amount of paid days off.

Among employers that increased paid time off, the No. 1 reason was taking care of employees, followed by the desire to be more competitive in recruiting and retention. Eight in 10 respondents offered paid bereavement leave and, of these employers, half said they provide three days and 23 per cent said the amount of leave varies based on the relationship to the employee.

Read: Younger U.S. workers seeking paid time off, flexible work in job search: survey

“Managing employee absences has become more complex with the continued shift of hybrid work and changing employer perceptions on paid time off, paid sick leave and parental leave,” said Andrea Goodkin, people and technology consulting practice leader at Hub, in a press release.

“[The] survey findings will encourage employers to consider a personalized view of their benefits and absence management programs to support the overall well-being of their employees, which in turn will foster a happy, healthy and productive workforce that can help their employer continue to succeed.”