More than a third (38%) of US-based new fathers at professional services organisation EY are taking paternity leave for six weeks or more, following the introduction of enhanced parental leave benefits.
In April 2016, the organisation announced that it would be extending its parental leave policy to 16 weeks at full pay for both male and female staff in the US. The policy applies to employees welcoming a child through birth, adoption, surrogacy, foster care and legal guardianship. Previously, EY US offered 12 weeks of leave for new birth mothers and up to six weeks for fathers and adoptive parents.
Under the previous six-weeks’ paid leave policy, 19% of eligible fathers took advantage of the benefit.
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Over the past year, the average length of leave taken by new fathers at the firm to care for a newborn child has increased from three weeks of leave to six weeks of leave.
The organisation has seen 82 male employees take the full 16 weeks of paid parental leave since the new policy launched in 2016.
Carolyn Slaski (pictured), vice chair of talent at EY Americas, said: “By expanding our parental leave benefits to empower all of our new parents, we are giving both EY men and women the tools to thrive both professionally and personally. During a time when we continue to see a stigma associated with men taking leave, it is encouraging that there has been a steady increase in EY dads choosing to take advantage of the full 16 weeks we offer to enjoy the special bonding time with their child.
“Not only is it important for new dads to have the opportunity to be at home with their new child, but our research has shown that dads taking parental leave also helps to create a sustainable pipeline of women talent at [organisations], as well. In under a year, we have seen a 20% increase in eligible dads at EY who have taken six or more weeks of paid paternity leave, and we hope that EY fathers will continue to feel encouraged to take advantage of this programme.”