Valuing our associates means supporting them throughout the entire lifecycle of someone's career, from hire to retirement. We affirmed our commitment to working Purina parents in 2015 by joining the Working Parent Support Coalition.
Our revised Parent Support Policy, implemented January 1, 2016, 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. The policy is gender-neutral and open to biological parents, adoptive parents or any primary caregiver of a newborn child.
In its first year, 585 Nestlé employees took advantage of this program, taking an average of 13 weeks off - about 25 percent longer than the average length of maternity leave as reported by Women's Health U.S.A. 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. 97.6 percent of employees who use any form of the policy were still with the company six months after their return.
In addition to a generous Parent Support Policy, Nestlé also offers employees a network of support for parents, including medical benefits and prescription drug benefits for infertility treatments, a free breast pump, 24-hour-a-day consultation with lactation specialists, children's books, full-value coupons for Gerber formula and food as well as a credit for other new parent essentials. Why is it so important to provide this additional support to new parents?
"Six months of leave is much different than twelve weeks of leave. My favorite time with Kayla was being able to hold her in my arms during her naps every day for months. Kayla's first smile and real interaction came at about four months old - you lose that if you're back after 12 weeks. With 26 weeks, I could even see her personality start to develop more."
Kelly HR Operations Team Leader
*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 with the company.