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More Companies Are Expanding Family Leave Benefits

Topics: Work Culture

Compensation is about more than just salary. When negotiating with an employer, it’s important to take other factors into consideration: such as benefits, vacation and leave time, and opportunities for flexible scheduling. Each of these elements contributes to the total package of compensation in a unique and important way. family with baby

(Photo Credit: remysharp/Flickr)

Lately, it seems that the topic of paid family leave has been surfacing more and more as folks debate how the current state of related laws and programs could change, expand, or shift in the future. Presidential candidates, especially Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, have weighed in on the matter, explaining that they’d like to expand these benefits for workers in the future.

Already though, we’re starting to see some companies making changes. And, as more organizations expand their family leave benefits, and many workers voice their wholehearted approval of the news, it will become increasingly important for other organizations to follow suit if they wish to attract top talent. Let’s take a closer look at a few companies that have recently announced changes.

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1. Scripps Networks Interactive.

Scripps Networks Interactive’s media portfolio includes television and internet brands such as HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel, just to name a few. The company is headquartered in Knoxville Tennessee and has offices all over the U.S., and in London and Singapore. Just a few days ago, the company announced that they would be making some changes to their benefits. Here are a few highlights of the new policy.

  • 12 weeks paid time off for maternity and adoption leave.
  • 3 weeks paid time off for non-primary care givers, legal guardians, and foster parents.
  • A phased option for returning to work after adoption or maternity leave.
  • Other initiatives like private mother’s rooms, a coordinator to help navigate the programs and options, reserved parking for expectant mothers, etc.

2. NIKE, Inc.

NIKE, Inc. develops and creates products (footwear, apparel, etc.,) and services for “today’s athlete.” Full time U.S. employees saw some changes to their benefits package back in April when the company announced a few changes:

  • New parents, or employees who need to care for a sick family member, are able to take up to eight weeks of paid leave.
  • Maternity leave is offered for 14 weeks, with additional time available for medical reasons.
  • These changes were real improvements to old policies which only allowed six weeks leave for new mothers, and no leave at all for adoptive parents or employees with a family member who required care.

3. Etsy. is an online marketplace for buying and selling unique and creative goods and products. With more than a million sellers, and 25 million buyers, it’s not hard to see why this company, founded in 2005, boasted over $2 billion gross merchandise sales in 2015.

Back in March, Etsy announced that they were expanding their paid family leave policy on the same day that the financial service corporation Fidelity Investments also proclaimed they were making similar changes. Etsy’s new parental leave program extends to all of their employees, men and women, regardless of their family circumstances.

Many other companies have also expanded their family leave benefits. Netflix Inc, for example, announced last year that they’d offer up to 12 months of paid time off for new parents, even allowing hourly workers several months paid leave as well, which is highly uncommon. It will be interesting to continue to observe how these decisions around the expansion of family leave benefits, made by individual companies, will impact larger national trends going forward.

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