US-based college finance organisation Sallie Mae has enhanced its parental leave policy to offer up to 12 weeks of fully-paid leave for employees who are new parents.
The organisation, which employs more than 1,200 members of staff in the US, will now offer 12 weeks of parental leave at full pay to employees who are the primary caregiver of the child. The secondary caregiver is entitled to four weeks of paid leave.
The parental leave policy applies to new parents of children who are born by the biological parent or a surrogate, as well as adopted children under the age of five.
Employees who have six months of service with the organisation and who work at least 24 hours per week are eligible for the enhanced parental leave, which is retroactive to 1 January 2016.
The parental leave policy will run alongside short-term disability and Family Medical Leave Act benefits.
Bonnie Beasley, chief human resources officer at Sallie Mae, said: “The bonds parents establish with their newborns or newly adopted children set the stage for a lifetime of wellbeing, and we believe our new parental leave policy makes it easier for Sallie Mae employees, regardless of gender, to build strong foundations as they start or grow their families.”