Stay informed and ready to meet both everyday challenges and long-term planning and policy-making goals, with focused news, practical information, and strategic insights on all HR-related developments.
By Martin Berman-Gorvine
Nov. 12 — Online retail giant Amazon has become the latest big retailer to expand paid parental leave, according to an e-mail a company spokesman sent Bloomberg BNA Nov. 5.
Employees are increasingly demanding such benefits in today's tight job market, a recent survey indicated (33 HRR 1072, 10/12/15).
The company said it is now offering up to 20 paid weeks of leave, consisting of four weeks of paid pre-partum medical leave for pregnant employees, followed by 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. The latter is the new element and is also available to “all other new parents who have been at Amazon for a year or more,” the company said in a Nov. 2 e-mail to employees.
The company is also offering the option to “share” up to six weeks of that leave with a spouse or partner whose employer doesn't offer paid parental leave. In an example Amazon offered, “Julia is an associate at an Amazon Fulfillment Center and recently had a baby. She's taken 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and would like to come back to work. Ideally, she'd like her husband to take some time off at this point, which would make her return to work easier. However, her husband's employer provides only unpaid paternity leave, and it's going to be financially difficult for him to take time off. That's where the Leave Share Program can help. Julia can share all or a portion of her paid parental leave with her husband, and he can stay home and help with their new baby.”
The company noted that its leave-share program “was developed to help replace lost income for an employee's spouse or partner who is taking leave from an employer that does not provide paid parental leave.”
That leave-share program is sex and sexual orientation blind, Amazon added. The company is also offering a flexible return-to-work program that is not dependent on an employee's supervisor's approval.
All full-time hourly and salaried employees, including more than 100,000 employees of Amazon's fulfillment center and its customer service employees, are eligible for these benefits.
The new benefits, which kick in Jan. 1, have been in the works for some time, Amazon said. “We review our benefit programs annually and began considering our leave policies in early 2015. In addition to benchmarking other companies, we conducted employee focus groups and solicited input from Amazon new mothers classes, AWE [Amazon Women in Engineering] leadership, and AmazeCon participants,” the latter referring to a conference the company sponsored earlier this year. “We also surveyed new moms about their overall experience and transition back to work,” the company said.
Netflix (33 HRR 845, 8/10/15) and Microsoft (33 HRR 846, 8/10/15) are among the companies that recently announced paid parental leave benefits for employees.
To contact the reporter on this story: Martin Berman-Gorvine in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)