Amazon joins the family-friendly club by offering paid paternity leave

A revised family leave policy for employees of online shopping giant Amazon has delivered a bonus for new dads.

The policy means new birth or adoptive parents, regardless of gender, who have worked for the company for at least a year will get six weeks of paid parental leave – the first time Amazon has offered paid leave for fathers.

Amazon joins a raft of companies recognising the value of expanding or improving their family leave policies and additional services in an effort to retain – and attract – valued staff.

Domo, a business data company in Utah, USA, gives their pregnant employees $2000 to spend on maternity clothes, while social media company Twitter and tech colossus IBM help nursing mums send their breast milk home while on business trips. And over at Virgin, new parents get a whole year’s leave at full pay.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon’s workplace policies were scrutinised after a New York Times report described the employer as cutthroat and unfriendly to workers with families.

pregnant working mum

The new policies are said to be in response to employee surveys and focus groups, as well as keeping up with leave policies of its competitors.

Birth mothers are now entitled to a total of 20 weeks of paid maternity leave, including four weeks of paid leave before the baby’s arrival.

The company said the benefits apply to all full-time hourly and salaried employees, including more than 100,000 customer service and fulfillment centre workers.

Amazon also introduced a leave-share program allowing workers to share a portion of their six-week paid leave with partners who don’t have paid leave through their own employers.

The company said it would also allow primary caregivers to ease back into work by working part time for up to eight weeks after returning to the job.

(via The Wall Street Journal)

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