American Express to offer employees 20 weeks of paid parental leave
- American Express is one in a growing number of companies offering generous paid parental leave to employees, reports Fortune. The financial services corporation will give employees 20 weeks of paid parental leave covering birth, adoption or surrogacy. Employees also receive up to $35,000 in benefits to pay for these events, plus $35,000 for fertility treatment and reproductive services under its health plan. Full-and part-time workers with at least a year of service at the company are eligible for the benefits, which start on Jan. 1.
- American Express’s old plan gave primary caregivers six weeks of paid leave. Secondary caregivers received two weeks of paid leave. Fortune says the company’s infertility treatment and reproductive services were capped at $20,000.
- The company decided to offer more generous leave benefits based on employee feedback. Workers told the company it could be more supportive of parents juggling family responsibilities. The company also wanted to be more competitive in attracting and hiring talented job candidates.
American Express already had a generous paid leave policy compared to some employers, but it decided to act in accordance to what its employees wanted — and these days, many younger workers support more expansive parental leave programs.
Smaller, less affluent companies might not be able to provide such generous benefits as paid parental leave. But offering in-demand benefits on a smaller scale might be a worthwhile recruiting and hiring strategy that pays off over time. More companies are turning toward flexibility pre- and post-leave to maintain workflow but allow parent employees more freedom.