US-based Johns Hopkins University has enhanced its family-friendly benefits, introducing a new paid parental leave benefit and increasing the financial assistance offered to adoptive parents.
The new paid parental leave benefit, effective from 1 July 2017, will enable birth and adoptive mothers and fathers to take four weeks of leave at full pay to use within the first 12 months after the birth or placement of a child. The leave can be taken all at once or in full-day increments throughout the year, as agreed by an employee’s manager.
The parental leave benefit will also be offered to parents of children born or adopted one month before the policy’s launch date, meaning that employees who started families from 1 June 2017 can also utilise the leave arrangement.
In addition, employees who give birth will be entitled to take birth recovery leave, also effective from 1 July 2017. This will enable eligible employees to take an extra six weeks of fully-paid leave to recover after the birth of their child. This leave can be extended if required for medical reasons, and can be used concurrently with statutory Family Medical Leave (FML), which provides employees with 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave.
The university’s sick leave policies will also allow new parents to use any accrued FML to bond with their child.
The new paid parental leave and birth recovery benefits are available to both full and part-time employees who have at least one years’ service.
The US university has also extended its adoption benefit to offer adoptive parents $15,000 (£11,570) in financial assistance per adopted child. This is triple its previous offering of $5,000 (£3,856) per adopted child.
Eligible full-time graduate students and postdoctoral trainees will also receive an eight week accommodation to care for a new child under the university’s family-friendly policy enhancements. There will be no loss in terms of tuition benefits, stipend support or benefits from training grants, fellowships or scholarships during this time.
Ronald Daniels, president at Johns Hopkins University, said: “I’m truly grateful to all the members of the community, staff, faculty, graduate students, and [postdoctoral trainees], who have highlighted the importance of parental leave, and to the deans, university leaders, and staff members who have worked so hard to make this happen. I am proud of these changes, which represent one more way [John Hopkins University] supports the wellbeing of our employees and trainees.”