Legg Mason is enhancing its parental leave policy, giving all new parents equal time off in an effort to create more equality in its workforce.
Beginning Jan. 1, the Baltimore-based money manager will provide its 758 U.S. employees with 12 weeks of pay for all new parents, regardless of whether or not an employee has a stay-at-home partner. Birth parents and adoptive parents will both be eligible for the benefit.
Previously, Legg Mason provided 12 weeks of leave for a primary caregiver and two weeks for a secondary caregiver.
The decision to change the paid parental leave policy “reflects the needs of families as they are today,” says Meggan Saulo, Legg Mason’s head of global total rewards.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to take leave after the birth, adoption or placement of a child,” she says. “Whether families have a mother and a father, two dads or two moms, partners frequently share caretaking responsibilities, and the flexibility to support one’s spouse creates a better work-life balance for the entire family.”
Legg Mason also introduced a benefit that reimburses mothers who travel globally for business for any expenses related to shipping breastmilk home. This is effective immediately.
The movement to give equal time off for both parents appears to be gaining steam. This summer, TD Bank overhauled its parental leave policy so that all new parents can have 16 weeks of leave. Meanwhile, Indiana University also allows both mothers and fathers to take six weeks of paid time off following the birth of a child.
According to a survey of 1,500 employees from TD Bank, 62% of employees, and 85% of millennials, believe a parental leave policy is an important factor to consider when choosing an employer. Additionally, more than one-third (37%) of employees, and half of millennials, say parental leave policies should evolve to be inclusive of modern families.