Mastercard extends bereavement leave

Register now

Following in the footsteps of Facebook, Mastercard is giving its employees more time off to grieve the loss of family members.

The credit card giant recently announced it has extended its bereavement policy, making all of its 10,000-plus employees eligible for up to four weeks of paid time off.

Employees will be able to take up to 20 days for the loss of a spouse, domestic partner or child, 10 days for the loss of a parent, grandparent or sibling and five days for all other extended family, including aunts and uncles.

Previously, U.S. employees of the company were given five days of leave for the loss of a family member, with the option for up to an additional 10 days for a spouse, partner or child, for a total of 15 days. Outside the U.S., the leave policy varied across each country and in most cases was less than five days. The changes make the policy universal for all global employees.

“We believe that no amount of time is enough when you lose a loved one,” says Rosanne Cuje, Mastercard’s vice president of total rewards. That’s why the company is not only focused on days of leave but also “ensuring that some of the other everyday things are taken care of — for example, our health insurance policy ensures that in case an employee passes away, their family can stay covered up to a one-and-a-half years.”

The move by Mastercard follows in the footsteps of Facebook, which earlier this year announced it was extending its paid bereavement policy from 10 to 20 days. Their move was a direct result of the personal experience of company COO Sheryl Sandberg, who lost her husband suddenly in 2015.

See also: Facebook doubles bereavement time for employees

Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga met with Sandberg recently, explains Cuje, and was “touched by Sheryl’s personal story and recommended that we make some changes to the policy and also enhance it and make our employees aware of our other benefits that take care of employees during a loss.”
Those other benefits include: support services for grieving employees, such as phone or face-to-face counseling for emotional, legal and financial well-being; employee-funded assistance with financial, medical and disaster emergencies; and paid full medical coverage for 18 months.
In a Facebook statement, Sandberg applauded Mastercard’s enhanced policy.
“Mastercard is sending a strong message to its employees: We’ll stand by you during the most difficult moments of your life,” Sandberg said. “No one should ever have to choose between being a good family member and a good employee. I’m proud of the work Facebook and Mastercard are doing to support our people when they need it most — and I hope even more companies follow in our path.”

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
PTO policies Benefit management Voluntary benefits Benefit strategies Benefit communication