In January, Hilton Worldwide made headlines with its new parental leave policy, which applies to both hourly and salaried employees and grants two weeks of paid leave to all new parents, including adoptive parents, plus eight additional weeks for birth mothers. This month, the hotel chain announced that another family-friendly employee policy, an adoption assistance program, will go into effect at the start of next year:
Under the new program, Hilton will reimburse Team Members for qualified adoption expenses up to $10,000 per child, with no limit to the number of adoptions. Expenses covered include application fees, home studies, agency and placement fees, legal fees and court costs, immigration, immunization and translation fees, transportation, meals and lodging, and counseling. The benefit will take effect on January 1, 2017, and will cover all—hourly and salaried—U.S.-based Team Members who have continuously worked at Hilton for at least one year, averaging at least 30 hours per week.
Andie Burjek at Workforce puts the new policy in context:
“We frequently ask team members for their feedback and suggestions,” said Laura Fuentes, senior vice president of talent, rewards and people analytics at Hilton, in an email interview. “Last year, we identified that parental leave was one area where we could add to our industry-leading programs and provide even more support and flexibility to team members and their families.” …
Stipends or reimbursements for adoption range from $5,000 to $25,000, according to Jackie Reinberg, national practice leader of absence, disability management and life at consultancy Willis Towers Watson. The average is about $10,000, which is what Hilton is offering, Reinberg said.
Adoption assistance benefits fit into Hilton’s overall strategy to make it a great place to work for employees and to foster both professional and personal growth, said Fuentes. It offers other family-friendly benefits like paid time off, a GED assistance program and remote workforce opportunities.