The average length of maternity leave is only seven weeks for mothers and three for fathers.  In a strive to consider to the modern family, Johnson and Johnson announced that they would be offering new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents eight additional weeks of fully paid parental leave, bringing the total to 15 weeks for new mothers (17 if they have a C-section), reports The Washington Post.  New fathers and adoptive parents will now get nine weeks of parental leave.

The company specifically stated in its announcement that new parents don’t have to take all that time off at once, “so our people can enjoy some much-needed flexibility during such a critical time in their lives.”

Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother Magazine, says that 23 percent of the 100 companies on its list of the most family-friendly workplaces have some kind of “automatic phase back” benefit. She describes these programs as offering new mothers the ability to return to work on a temporary part-time schedule as part of their official maternity package, rather than having to negotiate for the arrangement separately or secure a manager’s approval.

Vodafone gives 16 weeks of paid leave and puts it at the high end of what many companies offer in America, which is one of the few countries in the world where paid maternity leave is not mandated by the federal government. Google offers as much as 18 weeks, most companies offer far less. Unfortunately, only 12 percent of U.S. workers have access to paid family leave, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Let’s hope more companies follow suit!

Source: The Washington Post

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