Duke Energy introduces six weeks of fully-paid parental leave

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US-based energy organisation Duke Energy has introduced six weeks of fully-paid parental leave for its 29,000 employees.

The new parental leave benefit will enable both mothers and fathers to take six weeks of fully-paid parental leave at any time within the first 16 weeks after the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child.

The new paid parental leave benefit, which came into effect on 1 January 2017, aims to support employees’ work-life balance and attract and retain skilled staff.

The new policy will run alongside the organisation’s existing pregnancy-related short-term disability benefit, which also offers six weeks of paid leave, enabling birth mothers to take at least 12 weeks of paid leave in total.

Other family-friendly benefits offered by Duke Energy include a $5,000 (£3,988) reimbursement for costs associated with adopting a child; paid time off to care for a sick or injured child, parents or other family member; 10 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer in an employee’s child’s school, or the employee’s school of choice.

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Melissa Anderson, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Duke Energy, said: “Paid parental leave will give Duke Energy employees important quality time to bond with their new children without the financial pressures of having to immediately return to work. That’s good for our employees and their children.

“Coupled with our other work-family benefits, paid parental leave also will help us recruit and retain the next generation of highly skilled [employees].”