It continues to be competitive for companies to attract and retain workers. The pandemic now has more businesses changing their time-off policies long-term.
Many people have had to take time off over the last year for family obligations with schools or child care closed, or to care for aging family members.
“Employers are looking at that, in particular, because they see that there is a need for people to take time off, and so, and this is important, and I think that's why they're looking at these benefits around, particularly, families. But again, you know, across the board, looking at other benefits that might be appealing to their employees,” said Amber Clayton, Director of the SHRM HR Knowledge Center.
Paid parental leave has grown sharply so far this year. About 60% of the more than 400 employers in a new survey from asset management company Mercer are offering this benefit now for new birth and non-birth parents. That's up from 40% in 2018.
Bed Bath & Beyond is one of the latest companies to say it's adding paid parental leave for new parents.
“If the employer doesn't have these policies available now, there's no harm in and asking their managers, asking HR if that's something that the employer is looking into. It's very possible that they are, and the employee might not be aware of it yet,” said Clayton.
Worst case scenario is they say no and then you have to decide if it's worth staying with the company or not.
Paid parental leave isn't the only benefit we're seeing more of now. Help with child care expenses and on-site child care are also becoming more common.