Intel expands paid leave benefits for 2020

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Intel is expanding its paid leave benefits as the tech giant seeks to more fully and holistically support its employees during critical moments in their lives.

Employees in the U.S. are granted 12 weeks of family leave thanks to the 25-year-old Family Medical Leave Act. This requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide new parents with time off, but does not guarantee pay. However, some employers are taking it upon themselves to offer employees extended paid leave in order to attract and retain talent.

“We believe that when our employees and their families are supported, they perform at their best,” says Julie Ann Overcash, vice president of human resources and global director of compensation and benefits at Intel. “We want our employees to know we are here to support them through all the life events they may encounter.”

About 34% of organizations offer paid maternity leave, according to data from the Society for Human Resource Management, and paid paternity leave is offered by 30% of employers.

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The expanded benefits go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020 and will include new paid family leave, giving employees up to eight weeks to care for a sick loved one. Additionally, Intel is increasing its bereavement leave to up to two weeks from up to one week. Bonding leave for new parents has increased to 12 weeks from eight weeks, and Intel will also offer short term disability coverage.

This benefit, which includes pregnancy, approximates regular pay for up to 52 weeks and will be provided at no cost, Intel says. The company behind the processors used in most electronic devices is also starting a new parent reintegration program. This will allow employees the option to work a part-time schedule for up to four weeks, with full pay. As part of this initiative Intel is providing new moms with a breast milk shipping benefit from Milk Stork.

The enhancements to Intel’s paid leave benefits are part of a larger effort to support employees’ emotional well-being.

See Also: The Washington Post to offer 20 weeks of paid parental leave

The Senate approved a measure on Tuesday that would fund paid family and medical leave for federal employees. Yet the U.S. remains the only country out of 41 nations that does not mandate any paid leave for new parents, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Comparatively, Estonia offers 86 weeks of paid parental leave, according to the OECD.

“We certainly think there is value in employer paid family leave and encourage other companies to consider this benefit as well,” Overcash says. “These enhancements are really part of Intel’s continued investment in benefits and support employee well-being.”

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