TIAA expands paid parental leave

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Financial services firm TIAA expanded its paid parental leave to 16 weeks, up from 12 weeks of partial paid leave, and broadened it to include secondary caregivers.

The policy became effective Jan. 1, giving all new parents at the New-York based firm — regardless of gender, physically birthing the child or who the primary or secondary caregiver is — access to 16 weeks of paid leave.

“TIAA recognizes that in today’s times, there is such a prevalence of two working parents,” says Bob Weinman, vice president of benefits and HR operations at TIAA. “By acknowledging that primary and secondary caregivers are important in the equation, we’re setting a new standard for ourselves and the industry.”

See also: IBM beefs up family benefits, doubles paid parental leave

The company expects 350 to 400 of its 12,000 eligible employees will use these benefits in any given year, he says.

“We routinely look at our total benefits package relative to what’s going on in the market and our competitors,” Weinman says. “There is a movement toward improving or increasing the amount of paid time that companies were providing to employees. This was the right time.”

Paid parental leave is on a five-year upward trend, with more employers each year adding paid maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave, according to SHRM’s 2017 employee benefits survey.

Between 20% and 30% of employers offer some form of the aforementioned leave policies, according to the report.

TIAA also says it worked with its LGBT employee resource group in shaping the new gender-neutral policy.

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