Anheuser-Busch Is the Latest Company to Offer a (Better) Parental Leave Policy
Anheuser-Busch became the latest big-name company to amp up its parental leave policy this week, announcing Thursday that birth parents can now receive up to 16 weeks of paid time off. The brewer's announcement came just days after Coca-Cola unveiled a more inclusive paid parental leave policy — one that allows new dads to spend six weeks with their newborn children. Under Anheuser-Busch's new plan, new moms will receive eight weeks of maternity leave and eight weeks of parental bonding leave, for a total of 16 weeks off work at their full pay. Meanwhile, primary care givers will be able to take eight weeks of paid time off, and new dads can spend two weeks with their babies at full pay.
"We knew it was time for a change," Sandro Bassili, vice president of people at Anheuser-Busch, said in the official announcement. "We believe that introducing this new policy is the right thing to do and it was important to us that we heard, and responded to, feedback from our colleagues. Our previous policy was not focused enough on this important time in our colleagues’ lives. The more we can listen to our people and respond, the better our workplace will be for us all.”
Where Anheuser-Busch falls short, it seems, is where Coca-Cola's new plan shines: Giving dads (and all other caregivers) more time with their kids. Under its new plan, all full-time non-union Coca-Cola employees — including moms, dads, and adoptive and foster parents — can take six weeks off work at full pay. On top of that, birth mothers are entitled to an additional eight weeks of leave.
"Fostering an inclusive workplace means valuing all parents — no matter their gender or sexual orientation," Ceree Eberly, Coke's chief people officer, said in an announcement on the company's website. "We think the most successful way to structure benefits to help working families is to make them gender-neutral and encourage both moms and dads to play an active role in their family lives."
Of course, these companies have a long way to go until they come close to some of the most outstanding parental leave policies, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Netflix, which both give a full year — or more! — to new parents, while Adobe offers its employees 26 paid weeks of maternity leave. (Curious where other companies fall on the parental leave policy spectrum? Check out where they rank here.)
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