- VF Corporation, whose brands include The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler, Vans and Lee, will offer its U.S. workers who become parents eight weeks of paid leave within the first year of the birth or adoption of a child starting May 1, the company announced in a statement. Hourly employees who work at least 30 hours a week will be eligible for the benefit after one year of employment with VF, the statement continued.
- VF also will provide a "Birth Mother's Disability Benefit" for hourly workers, it said. The company said the benefit aims to eliminate potential income gaps between what is covered by company paid and state specific short-term disability and the new paid parental leave. The eight weeks' paid parental leave complements the company's pre-existing adoption assistance benefit, which reimburses adoptive parents for eligible adoption-related fees and expenses, VF said.
- "We regularly review our benefits and listen to our employees' input to ensure we are providing highly competitive and comprehensive offerings that support our employees and their families," said Anita Graham, VF’s CHRO, in the statement. "Our new paid Parental Leave program will give new parents the time they need away from work so they can focus on their family after the birth or adoption of a child."
Though there is no federal law mandating paid parental leave, such policies have become a priority for many employers. Lululemon, for example, recently announced up to six months of gender-neutral paid parental leave to employees who work at least 24 hours a week; H&M announced that it will offer paid parental leave and a "weekly schedule commitment" for its part-time employees as part of its 2019 benefits package. About 40% of employers offer paid parental leave for both birth and non-birth parents in 2018 — up from about 25% reported in 2015, according to Mercer's 2018 Survey on Absence and Disability Management.
With nearly one-third of HR execs at major retailers reporting turnover increases in 2018, particularly among part-time workers, HR might consider whether parental benefits could help slow the trend. Family leave, in particular, ranks as a favored work benefit, and such policies could help talent professionals curry favor with potential hires who value family.