Valuing our associates means supporting them throughout the entire lifecycle of someone's career, from onboarding to retirement. We affirmed our commitment to working Purina parents in 2015 by joining the Working Parent Support Coalition. This effort pushed forward an overhaul of the Parent Support Policy, effective as of January 1, 2016.
Nationwide, only 12% of U.S. private sector workers have paid family leave through their employers, placing a financial strain on new parents and caregivers. Our revised Parent Support Policy provides up to 14 weeks of paid leave for a designated primary caregiver.* Primary caregivers can then elect up to 12 more weeks for a potential total leave of 26 weeks. Additionally, the policy provides the option for a phased return depending on one's location. Finally, all associates may take one week of paid leave following the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, even if he or she is not the primary caregiver.
These updates to the Parent Support Policy are some of the most progressive changes in the industry and signify our ongoing commitment to achieving gender balance and retaining female talent at the organization.
Wendy H., Human Resource Manager, added "The flexibility of the new Parent Support Policy is a huge improvement over the previous medical leave/FMLA program. Now our employees are able to customize their leave based on their individual needs through the various options provided by the new policy. This compliments Nestlé Purina's desire to provide more options towards work/life balance."
The organization as a whole can reap the financial benefits of generous parental leave policies. This has been demonstrated by several state-wide pilot studies in the U.S. as well as performance of similar policies globally. Great Britain, for example, gives 52 weeks of paid leave, the majority of which is paid. Google, who increased their paid maternity from 12 weeks to 18 weeks, decreased the turnover rate for new moms by 50%.
Our associates are our biggest asset, and we're committed to supporting them and making sure new parents and newborns get off to the best start possible. Working together, #WeStandTaller.
*Note: to qualify to receive these benefits, associates must be classified as full-time, work at least 30 hours, and have completed at least 26 weeks of service.