Google expands PTO, sets minimum 20 vacation days

Dive briefing:

  • Google has increased its paid time off benefits — some taking effect Jan. 1, and others will take effect later this year — the company told HR Dive.
  • The company now offers 24 weeks of paid leave for biological parents (starting at 18 weeks); 18 weeks for parents who have not given birth (from 12 weeks); eight weeks for those caring for a critically ill loved one, what the company calls “care leave” (four weeks); and a minimum of 20 vacation days (from 15 days). The latter two benefits will take effect on April 2, the company said, while the first two took effect on January 1.
  • “More than 40% of our employees belong to the ‘sandwich generation’, where they both raise their children and care for aging relatives,” Fiona Cicconi, Google’s chief people officer, said in a statement. “We want to support our employees at every stage of their lives and that means providing extraordinary benefits so that they can spend more time with their new baby, care for a sick loved one or take care of their own well-being.”

Dive Insight:

With employees complaining about burnout Amid the Great Resignation, companies have increasingly explored ways to improve their compensation and benefits in order to increase retention and provide employees with a much-needed break. Many have switched to their PTO offering, extending their paid time off for specific life events and even reducing the hours worked for all employees.

For example, in Dec. Pinterest informed HR Dive of a new benefit exclusive to NICU parents, allowing parents with premature babies to take time off — apart from the company’s standard parental leave — to bond with them while in the newborn intensive care unit. Pinterest also expanded its paid leave from 16 weeks to 20 or 26 weeks off (depending on the biological parent) and introduced PTO for miscarriage recovery.

Care challenges, some of which are pandemic-specific, may have led to many such specific childcare leave policies, as well as the increased popularity of benefits that provide support elderly care and care for disabled dependents.

The pandemic has also shaped paid leave in other ways. Last summer, companies such as bumble and Hootsuite gave employees a company-wide week off their standard PTO, which employers hoped would force employees to rest and focus on mental health. More recently, a series of companies have enthusiastically de four-day work weekwhich many see as the next step in modernizing workplace policies.

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