Microsoft US enhances benefits package

Microsoft US is to enhance its parental, holiday and 401(k) pension benefits.


The technology giant, which employs 59,853 staff in the US, is introducing its enhanced benefit offerings with the aim of fostering a supportive workplace culture that embraces diversity and inclusion. 

An enhanced parental package

From November 2015, its US-based staff will have access to an expanded parental benefits package. At present, employees receive 12 weeks of parental leave, four of which are paid and eight unpaid.

Following the changes, new mothers and fathers will be offered 12 weeks of fully-paid parental leave. This is in addition to the eight weeks of fully-paid maternity disability leave for birth mothers.

Birth mothers will also be able to take advantage of short-term disability leave in the two weeks running up to their scheduled due date.

The enhanced scheme will give eligible parents the choice of taking their 12 weeks of parental leave in one go or splitting it into two periods. They will also have the option of phasing back into work on a part-time basis.

Added holiday days

In line with employee feedback, Microsoft US is also making changes to its holiday leave and 401(k) offerings, which will come into effect in January 2016.

The organisation will add Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day to its holiday package for staff. This will mean that employees receive 12 paid holiday days, in addition to accrued holiday time.

Helping staff to save for retirement

Microsoft US will increase its 401(k) match from 50% of the first 6% that employees defer, to 50% of all regular deferrals.

The IRS regular deferral limit currently stands at $18,000 a year, meaning that staff will have the opportunity to see Microsoft match their contributions up to $9,000.

The goal is to improve financial wellness, and help staff prepare for retirement through a tax-advantaged savings vehicle.

Kathleen Hogan, executive vice president of human resources at Microsoft, said: “As we ask our employees to bring their ‘A’ game to work every day to achieve our mission, we believe it’s our responsibility to create an environment where people can do their best work.

“A key component of this is supporting our employees with benefits that matter most to them.

“As we make changes in the US, we will continue to review what’s offered in each country and work to align to our global benefits philosophy and the local regulations and dynamics in each market.

“Our US retail employees will also see enhanced benefits, similar to those announced today, based on existing retail pay and benefit structures.”