The parental leave trend has been picking up steam among U.S. employers for the past few years, and now, based on a survey from Mercer, employers also are increasingly offering paid time off for adoptions as part of the mix. This growing benefit is designed to adapt to a workforce wherein the definition of “family” now includes same-sex parents, HR.blr.com reports.
While American workers have access to 12 weeks’ unpaid leave for adoptions if they meet the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) requirements, U.S. employers are beginning to provide more generous leave in general, Mercer found in its 2016 Global Parental Leave report.
While globally, 29% of employers said they provide adoption leave above relevant statutory requirements, countries in the Americas rank higher at 33%, according to the Mercer survey.
There are many good reasons for extending parental leave to adoptive parents. For one, as noted in the Mercer study, adoption leave helps employers accommodate more diverse family structures. But it also is an attractive benefit for key talent that paints a strong picture of an employer's culture outright.
Using benefits like paid time off for adoption as a recruiting and retention tool may be working. In a 2015 employee survey, Mercer found that 66% of workers said benefits make them feel appreciated by their company. HR and benefits leaders who listen and adapt to their workforce needs are more likely to raise engagement levels and attract and retain the best talent.