New parents inside Big Four Firm PwC can breathe a sigh of relief.
The $37 billion professional services giant will allow new parents to work 60% of their normal schedule at full pay for the four weeks following parental leave.
“It can be difficult to go from zero time at the office to 100% back to work,” says Jennifer Allyn, diversity strategy leader at PwC. “We encourage everyone to take that transition.”
The policy update is part of a broader change to the firm’s family-friendly benefits, which now include updated parental and caregiving leave, along with adoption and surrogacy reimbursements.
As of July 1, more than 50,000 U.S. employees of the firm will have access to four weeks of paid family leave for caretakers and eight weeks of paid parental leave, up from six weeks.
On average, birth moms at PwC can take up to 21 weeks of maternity leave through the parental leave policy, short-term disability, paid time off and unpaid leave.
See also: PwC to mandate unconscious bias training
Although the paid parental leave policies are gender neutral, the number of men capitalizing on the paid time off benefit has grown, according to PwC. In 2017, 72% of men took parental leave, up from 40% in 2016, Allyn says.
PwC says the uptick is due to a marketing strategy that highlights male workers who took parental leave; those stories are featured in the company intranet’s internal news channels, Allyn says.
The updated policies are complemented by adoption and surrogacy benefits, which also go into effect on July 1. Employees with surrogacy expenses will receive up to $25,000 in reimbursement. Employees seeking adoption services will receive up to $25,000 per child, Allyn says.
“We thought surrogacy was a trend line that we wanted to support and be in front of,” she says.
The company says it wants its benefits to be comprehensive and inclusive. Previously, the Big Four firm began offering student loan reimbursement payments.
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