Getting pregnant is an exciting time, but for women in the workforce, it can also be stressful. You’re now taking care of a new baby, and to top it off, you suddenly have new bills to pay, but—if you’re taking any unpaid leave—less money to pay them with. Paid maternity leave is ideal, but not all companies offer enough it.
The great news is that many companies are starting to change their parental leave policies, consulting firm Deloitte LLP being the latest one. The professional services company announced this month that they will be offering a “family leave program,” offering male and female employees alike 16 weeks of fully paid family leave to support a range of life events impacting them and their families, according to a press release from the business.
These life events can include the birth of a child, caring for a spouse or significant other, or giving support to aging parents. As part of this new policy, mothers who give birth to a child are eligible for up to six months of paid time off when factoring in short-term disability for childbirth.
This sort of paid time off is definitely in demand, and it’s good that companies like Deloitte are listening. In a recent survey of US workers, Deloitte found that 88 percent of the respondents would value a broader paid leave policy to include family care beyond parental leave.
Given that the United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave and overwhelming evidence of the benefits that paid leave provides to both mother and child, let’s hope that other companies continue to follow suit!
Photo by angermann