The parental leave benefit trend continues to gain steam, with another major employer introducing a leave policy to its 26,000-plus employees.
TD Bank is now offering 16 weeks of paid leave to all parents — men and women — welcoming a new child by birth or adoption. The policy, which went into effect June 7, also includes primary and secondary caregiver eligibility, regardless of gender, and job protection during leave.
It’s a significant change: Formerly, employees of the financial institution took a combination of short term disability and Family Medical Leave Act.
TD says the new policy is “among the most generous in the financial services industry and is in line with TD’s commitment to ensuring women and men across diverse communities have every opportunity to be successful in their careers at TD while making family a priority.”
Christine Stanton, head of U.S. total rewards at TD Bank, says it’s important that all employees are covered under the leave program because “there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to family. This program allows our people to have equal access to their family and their career.”
TD Bank’s new policy is based on employee feedback and industry data, Stanton says. Employees had been clamoring for the benefit, which was further verified by results of its “TD Bank Family First” survey the company recently conducted. It gauged opinions from more than 1,500 people.
That survey revealed that 62% of Americans, and 85% of millennials, believe a parental leave policy is an important factor to consider when choosing an employer. Additionally, more than one-third (37%) of Americans, and half of millennials, say parental leave policies should evolve to be inclusive of modern families, the survey found.
TD Bank is one of a handful of companies that recently have enhanced parental leave policies. American Express, Ikea, Bank of America and Indiana University have boosted policies in the last year, with many citing the growing importance of work-life balance for employees.
“We hope that this [new leave policy] will allow our people to focus on their growing family 100%, while still thriving in their career,” Stanton says.
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