American Express to Give New Parents 5 Months of Paid Leave

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American Express is putting family first by boosting its paid parental leave package to a whopping five months and adding other family friendly perks.

American Express announced that beginning Jan. 1, its full-time and part-time employees — both men and women — are eligible for 20 weeks of paid parental leave regardless of whether they’re welcoming a new baby through birth, adoption or surrogacy. In addition, birth mothers are allowed an extra six to eight weeks of paid leave.

That’s a big increase from the company’s current parental leave policy: six weeks of paid leave for the primary caregiver, plus an additional six to eight weeks for birth mothers for medical purposes. Secondary caregivers were offered two weeks of paid leave.

The financial services company is also boosting the following family benefits, effective Jan. 1:

  • American Express will reimburse workers up to $35,000 for costs associated with adoption or surrogacy. This benefit can be used two times maximum per employee.
  • The company will offer employees up to $35,000 (lifetime maximum) to help with the costs of reproductive and fertility treatments.
  • American Express will offer its breastfeeding mother workers free around-the-clock access to a board-certified lactation consultant. The company will also provide free breast milk shipping for nursing moms if they’re traveling on company business.
  • In an effort to help expectant or new parents navigate the parental-leave world and understand what resources are available to them, American Express has committed to providing a “parent concierge” for its workers.

The financial services company says expanding its family policies shows that the company is committed to its workers and offers an “inclusive culture” that is supportive of all employees. In a press release, Kevin Cox, chief human resources officer at American Express, says:

“These significant enhancements to our benefits reflect a continued investment in the overall well-being of our employees and their families.”

A mere 12 percent of U.S. workers have a paid family leave option through their employer. The U.S. also has the dubious distinction of being the only developed country in the world with no guaranteed paid parental leave.

How important do you think parental leave is in the workforce? Sound off below or on Facebook.

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