Coca-Cola is to extend paid parental leave for male and female employees in the US.
From January 2017, all new parents will be eligible for six weeks’ paid parental leave, including adoptive and foster parents.
The new policy will be in addition to the six to eight weeks of paid parental leave available to birth mothers via short-term disability. It will also sit alongside existing health and flexible workplace benefits that aim to support work-life balance.
Coca-Cola aims to help close the gender gap at home and in the workplace by introducing a policy that supports both male and female staff.
The introduction of the policy follows support from Coca-Cola’s Millenial Voices, a group of young employees that work to encourage change that can aid the organisation’s attraction and retention of millennial employees and customers. Internal surveys and external research demonstrated that the average age at which university-educated individuals in the US become first-time parents is 30, which is the median age of Coke’s current and prospective millennial employees. The organisation expects millennials to account for more than half of its global workforce by 2020.
Ceree Eberly, chief people officer at Coca-Cola, said: “Fostering an inclusive workplace means valuing all parents, no matter their gender or sexual orientation. We think the most successful way to structure benefits to help working families is to make them gender-neutral and encourage both mums and dads to play an active role in their family lives.
“Paid parental leave provides time off for parents to truly bond with their new child. We feel it’s important for all new parents to take time off, so that when they return to work, they’re refreshed, less stressed and at their best, focused, engaged and productive.”