American Express will give all parents 20 weeks of paid leave

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NEW YORK — Having a family while working at American Express is about to get a lot better.

Starting in January, the financial services giant will expand its paid parental leave policy for mothers and fathers to 20 weeks at full pay, plus another six to eight weeks for women who give birth and require medical leave. Full-time and part-time employees who have worked at Amex for at least a year are eligible.

That’s a big shift from the company’s current policy of offering six weeks of paid leave for the primary parent plus another six to eight weeks for birth mothers who require medical leave. Secondary caregivers, meanwhile, have gotten just two weeks.

Under the new policy, parents will also have access to a 24-hour lactation consultant. And mothers who go on business trips will be able to ship their breast milk home for free.

In addition, expectant parents will have access to a parent concierge, whom they can go to for information on the company’s family benefits and resources.

And employees who wish to have a child will receive up to $35,000 for adoption or surrogacy for up to two children. Those undergoing infertility treatments, meanwhile, will receive up to a lifetime maximum of $35,000 to help defray costs.

Ikea, AXA also get more generous

Amex joins a growing list of companies that have made their parental and family leave policies more generous in the past two years.

Just last week, Ikea announced that U.S.-based employees, including hourly workers, will get six to eight weeks of parental leave at full pay and another six to eight weeks at half pay.

And financial investment firm AXA said full- and part-time employees with at least one year of tenure can take up to 16 consecutive weeks of leave at full pay if they are the primary parent, up from 10 weeks currently. And they can take up to 4 weeks if they’re not the primary parent.

AXA also launched an infant transition program that provides new parents with up to 30 days of subsidized back-up care during their baby’s first year, three of which require no copay.

Earlier this year, Etsy, an online marketplace for unique goods, unveiled one of the most generous, flexible and gender-neutral paid parental leave policies in any industry: 26 weeks of paid parental leave during the first two years of a child’s life.


  • confused

    That’s great that these companies can do that. However, welfare still has them beat. If you refuse to work because you have a child and are unwed, you get a minimum of 5 years of support-until the father not present child-begins full time school. How about unweds get six weeks and then they too must work?

    • Nick Lanctot

      There is a huge difference between the dismal amount of welfare you get from the govt and getting a full time paycheck.(or even 60% of a fulltime paycheck using short term disability) People with readily accessible options don’t normally live off the state unless they are coupling it with other illegal activities. It’s just too little. I’d like to see you try to live on the amount that is paid, lol. Signed a fulltime, married, working father of two, because I know you might assume I was someone living on the dole if I didn’t indicate otherwise.

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    • confused

      Apply at one of the companies in the article and have or adopt a kid. 15$ hour is only going to increase cost of goods/services which will turn away customers which means you will be laid off. I worked multiple jobs for many years due to the AHCA-no one wanted to hire more then 29 hours & my health insurance was up to me to pay-finally found a full time job with reduced premium. You will too. Only took me 4 years of working at anything and looking at stuff I could do. It’s up to YOU to support YOU. Or, marry rich ;)

      • Zobrem (@Zobrem)

        confused, you seem to be confused. not everyone can get a job that pays well with great benefits. it literally can’t be done. there are less of these jobs than there are people. Many poor paying jobs are necessary for the economy some even require skills needed through schooling! Your message is screw these people, move up to where the drops trickling down from the top are a little bit bigger.

    • confused

      That’s EASY! peace and quiet, the ability to go someplace without having to find a sitter or daycare, you don’t have to eat an icky veggie to set an example, you don’t have to worry about pedophiles, you won’t hear I need 24 cupcakes to take to school 15 minutes before you leave for school, braces and casts, college tuition, the pawing of your daughter by some zit faced boy, the sexual assault on your son by some undersexed teacher, the list is endless. You need to understand, that time off is to care for a child not a ski trip to Aspen or a romp at Disney World. Having a baby or adopting a kid is stressful.

  • confused

    Zobrem? did you miss the part of me working at anything I could do for 4 years while looking for a full time job with partially paid health insurance? I finally found one that started out at $12/hour. That is more $ then I have ever made in my 34 years of work. I LOVE my job. Everyday I hope the economy hangs in there. BTW-I’m a janitor. I feel high schools have been stressing a college education way too much over the last 20 years. That’s why there is such a lack of tradespeople. We need burger flippers, masons, heavy equipment operators, janitors, maids, welders, plumbers, trades people and service people. There are enough engineers and ceos. Without us little people and skilled tradespeople, those same engineers and ceos wouldn’t have cars, homes, and buildings to work in. My whole point was there are some unweds whose only “job” is to have kid after kid, with no father in the picture, living off of the working people’s dime. It would be nice if they only got 6 weeks (like working moms and dads) of $ instead of years and years. They scam and the working poor don’t get a dime because they are working-welfare is too attractive.

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