Estée Lauder'S New Family Leave Policy Should Be An Example To Brands Everywhere
Welcoming a little one is challenging in and of itself, but add a lack of paid family-leave leave to the mix, and of course, matters get even more complicated for working parents. To that end, consider this distressing stat: More than 114 million Americans do not have any form of paid parental leave, according to a 2017 report. The good news is that more and more companies have been thinking progressively and expanding their family leave policies. Estée Lauder is the latest to make headlines for their new policy, which takes effect today, Tuesday, May 1.
As of today, both salaried and hourly Estée Lauder employees in the U.S. who choose to have, foster or adopt a child will get 20 weeks of paid leave. Employees who gave birth will receive an additional six to eight weeks of paid time off. This is a significant bump from the 12 weeks off that the company offered employees previously.
The company will also offer employees up to $10,000 to cover adoption costs and will continue to offer $20,000 a year toward fertility treatments and reduced childcare (and elder care!) costs with a co-pay of $8 an hour, according to Business Insider.
And once the time comes for employees to get back to work, the cosmetics company will soon have transition six-week programs that allow flex hours and the ability to work from home. Amazing!
To be eligible for the benefits, employees just have to work at least 30 hours per week and have been with the company at least three months.
It’s fair for Estée Lauder to be receiving praise for this expanded family-leave policy, and with hope, it’s a step that’s not only in the right direction but one that will set an example for other companies. Although the country’s 20 largest employers now offer paid parental leave to at least some of their workers and companies like Facebook, Netflix, and Nike have been lauded for expanding their policies, far too many programs at companies in the U.S. fall short of offering all employees — including fathers, adoptive parents, foster parents, LGBT parents — full benefits.
“We're seeing a general shift away from focusing on more traditional benefits, like medical and dental," Latricia Parker, Estée Lauder's Executive Director of Global Benefits, told BI. "Now, it's all about the individual, rather than employers dictating what's right for them. Employees want to understand the options available to them...We [Estée Lauder] don't want to dictate what their families should look like.” Cheers to that!
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