Accenture India Expands Adoption and Surrogacy Leave

Accenture India Expands Adoption and Surrogacy Leave

For multinational corporations, India has recently emerged as a new theater in the parental leave arms race, with PricewaterhouseCoopers announcing an overhaul of its policy for new mothers there at the start of this month. Accenture India has now taken its own policy one step further, the Economic Times reports, expanding leave for women who become mothers through adoption or surrogacy, among other benefits:

Accenture has increased the adoption leave its staff can take to 22 weeks from the current eight and added surrogacy leave, also of 22 weeks, as a new category, making the company one of the first in India to equate surrogacy and adoption leaves to maternity leave practices.

The new policy means all types new mothers will now be treated equal. Effective immediately, all new mothers (full-time and part-time) will receive five months (22 weeks) of paid leave, which is significantly more than the current statutory requirement of three months.

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American Express Announces New Benefits for Working Parents

American Express Announces New Benefits for Working Parents

American Express has joined the parental leave arms race, announcing a new policy that gives 20 weeks of leave at full pay to employees, male or female, who become parents through birth, adoption, or surrogacy, Fortune’s Claire Zillman reports, and that’s not all:

It’s also offering employees benefits worth up to $35,000 for adoption and surrogacy events as well as $35,000 for infertility treatment—including advanced reproductive technology procedures—through its health plan. Under the company’s old plan, primary caregivers could take six weeks of paid leave and secondary caregivers received two weeks off. Its surrogacy and adoption benefits previously stood at $10,000 and reproductive services and infertility treatments were capped at $20,000.

U.S.-based regular full-time and part-time employees are eligible for the new benefits after working for AmEx for one year. The policy kicks in January 1. Conversations with employees as well as market forces prompted the change in policy, says Kevin Cox, chief human resources officer for AmEx. He says employees suggested that AmEx could support their parenting efforts “in a more complete way.”

Amex will also offer “a personal concierge for employees who are adding to their families, 24-hour access to lactation consultants, and free breast-milk shipping during business trips.” The change comes as many major employers are rolling out more robust parental leave offerings in an effort to retain working parents, particularly mothers, amid a growing understanding of how important family-friendly policies are to keeping women in the workforce after they have children. Policies that do not discriminate between mothers and fathers or between birth and adoptive parents are becoming increasingly popular as well.

The company’s generous new adoption, surrogacy, and fertility benefits are more unusual, but are also becoming more common: A recent study found that about one quarter of large employers (over 500 employees) offered fertility services as part of their health care benefits. Hilton Worldwide, meanwhile, announced a new adoption assistance benefit in October.