Hewlett Packard Enterprise adds 6 months of paid parental leave

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the latest tech giant to boost its family-friendly benefits.

The company’s more than 60,000 global employees now have six months of paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child — an increase from its previous offering of roughly 12 weeks of time off.

The company decided to make the change to better support employees’ work-life balance, says Alan May, chief people officer at HP Enterprise.

“We want to make sure we walk the talk with respect to work-life balance,” he says. “That’s not a daily equation; that’s a lifetime equation.”

Paid parental leave is rising in popularity. The number of employers offering the benefit jumped to 27% in 2018 from 17% in 2016, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. A number of companies have moved to update their paid parental leave policies. For example, retailer VF Corporation is now offering employees eight weeks of leave. XPO Logistics offers primary caregivers six weeks of leave and secondary caregivers two weeks.

Large organizations — and particularly those in the tech industry, like HP Enterprise — are more likely to offer paid parental leave and other family benefits than smaller employers, research indicates. Facebook, for instance, gives new moms and dads four months of leave at 100% pay. Twitter gives 20 weeks of paid parental leave for both parents.

Meanwhile, Cisco earlier this year rolled out egg storage reimbursement, surrogacy reimbursement and genetic testing benefits for its 38,000 U.S. employees. Google recently extended paid parental leave, sick leave and other benefits to its contractor workers.

See also: Keeping up with Silicon Valley: Better benefits, remote work

HP Enterprise’s new policy is paid at 100% of employees’ salary and is available to both mothers and fathers. The company now allows new parents to work part time for up to three years as they transition back to work.

“[It’s about] how we can best support our employees as [they] go through various transitions in life,” May says.

In addition to the benefits for new parents, the Fortune 500 company added wellness Fridays, retirement transition support and a career reboot program.

Wellness Fridays allow employees to leave the office once a month at 2 p.m. to volunteer, focus on health or spend time on personal and career development. Retirement transition support allows employees within one year of retirement to work part-time.

“These are the kind of benefits we’re looking at across the board,” he says.

HP Enterprise’s career reboot program is geared toward candidates who have been out of the workforce for an extended period and are ready to start a new career. This may be useful for a stay-at-home parent, May says, who has taken time off to raise a child.

“We’re going to work with these individuals on a one-to-one basis, training them on specific technical skills,” he says.

See also: 50 companies that made big benefits changes

May says he hopes the benefits will help the company attract and retain talent, as well as remain competitive. But mostly, HP Enterprise wants employees to have a good balance between work and home.

“It’s work that fits your life,” he says. “That’s what we’re trying to drive here.”

This story has been updated to clarify the name of the company is Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

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