American Express to enhance parental leave and family-friendly benefits for US staff


American Express is to extend its paid parental leave policy and enhance its family-friendly benefits programme for US employees.

From 1 January 2017, all US-based full and part-time staff will be eligible for up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave. This applies to both male and female employees who have a child through birth, adoption or surrogacy.

The new parental leave policy will be offered in addition to the six to eight weeks of medically-necessary leave for birth mothers.

American Express is also to enhance its suite of family-friendly benefits, including free 24-hour access to certified lactation consultants, and free breast-milk shipping for employees travelling for business purposes.

The organisation will also reimburse up to $35,000-worth of expenses to help employees with the cost of an adoption or surrogacy. Staff will be eligible for this twice during the course of their employment at American Express. In addition, US-based staff will have access to a lifetime maximum of $35,000 for reproductive and fertility treatments available through the organisation’s health plans.

American Express will also introduce a parent concierge service for expectant parents, which will include access to parental resources and programmes.

These benefits will be available from 1 January 2017. They will sit alongside a range of existing support programmes for working parents, such as 20 days of in-home or centre-based back-up care per dependent each year, personal concierge services, flexible-working arrangements, and a Healthy Babies programme for expectant mothers, which includes access to healthcare resources and incentives.

Through the introduction of the enhanced benefits package and parental leave policy, the organisation is aiming to ensure that employees feel supported from the point they decide to become parents, their return to work, and beyond.

Kevin Cox, chief human resources officer at American Express, said: “American Express remains deeply committed to our working families and an inclusive culture that supports all of our employees. These significant enhancements to our benefits reflect a continued investment in the overall wellbeing of our employees and their families.”