Texas-based university to launch new parental and adoption benefits

Texas-based Baylor University is introducing paid parental leave and an adoption assistance programme for its staff and faculty members.

The new parental leave policy, which will be available to staff immediately upon joining the university, will provide both male and female full-time employees with up to four weeks of paid leave when they become parents through birth or adoption.

The new adoption assistance programme will help staff with the costs of the adoption process by reimbursing up to $6,000 (£4,816) of qualifying adoption-related expenses per adoption, for up to two children per year. Staff and faculty members who work full-time and have at least one year of service are eligible for the benefit.

The new benefits, which will come into effect on 1 April 2017, aim to support employees’ work-life balance and provide them with time to bond with their children.

The new policies will run alongside existing family-friendly benefits, such as 12 weeks of paid maternity leave for female faculty members, which was introduced in 2015.

Cheryl Gochis, vice president for human resources and chief human resources officer at Baylor University, said: “This is a step forward for families in the Baylor community and one we feel will enrich the lives of our staff and faculty by improving their family time and resources.

“We want our employees to experience excellent support for their families, as they work to create an excellent experience for students. We feel these additional benefits completely align with our mission and are an investment in our greatest resource, our employees. We did look at benchmarks for parental leave to ensure our new policies were competitive, but our best data came from feedback and input from our employees.”