Apple on Wednesday announced expanded employee benefits for new parents. The new benefit is designed to ease the transition back to work for employees that are new parents, expanding on the already available 16 weeks of leave new parents are granted, along with an additional four-week grace period.
Apple’s head of retail and human resources, Deirdre O’Brien, shared details on the changes with Fast Company.
“What we find a lot of times is people are really excited to get back to work,” says O’Brien, Apple’s head of retail and human resources. “At the same time, [they] feel like they need to make sure things are really stable and successful at home. And that weighs heavy on people’s minds, I think.”
The new policy will grant new parents returning to work a four-week period where they be paid like a full-time employee, but will be given the flexibility to work a part-time schedule or work with a manger to set their own schedule.
The new transition period will be available to all new parents, including new adoptive parents or those that take in foster children (non-birth parents are allowed up to six weeks of paid leave in place of the 16 weeks given birth parents). Retail employees will be included in the expanded program.
In addition to the new transition period, Apple is expanding leave for adoptive parents by four weeks through a Paid Family Care benefit that lets parents take time off for family illness. Apple’s financial assistance for families that choose to adopt has been tripled, providing up to $14,000 towards adoption.
Apple is also expanding its mental wellness benefits for all employees, doubling the number of free counseling sessions available to employees per year along with providing telemedicine options.