Sidley Austin extends paid parental leave for US associates and counsel

Image credit: Sidley Austin

Global law firm Sidley Austin has extended its paid parental leave policy for US-based associates and counsel, providing up to 14 weeks of paid leave for male and female legal staff.

The enhanced policy, effective from 1 August 2019, enables both primary and secondary caregivers to take up to 14 weeks of paid parental leave; birth mothers can also specifically receive an additional eight weeks of paid medical leave, taking their total paid leave entitlement to 22 weeks.

Associates and counsel in the US are also able to utilise an extra four weeks of paid time off, in addition to parental and medical leaves. This does not prorate legal professionals’ bonus target.

Associates’ bonus targets are prorated to account for leave periods.

Previously, US-based legal staff could take up to 10 weeks of paid parental leave.

Larry Barden (pictured), chair of the management committee at Sidley Austin, said: “The changes to our parental leave policy reflect the firm’s ongoing commitment to support our lawyers and attract the best talent.

“We review our parental leave and other policies on a regular basis to ensure they align with our lawyers’ needs and make Sidley an attractive destination for the next generation of lawyers.

“It is important that parental leave policies evolve to reflect societal change and we recognise that. We intend to continue to offer appealing benefits that will allow our lawyers to be their best selves, both at work and at home.”