DuPont announced Tuesday that its new expanded parental leave policy will now extend to adoptive and same-sex parents. New mothers and fathers will receive four weeks of paid leave from the Wilmington-based chemical giant.
The new policy takes effect June 1 in the U.S. and will spread to the company's other global plants by the end of 2020.
Parents have the option of taking their four weeks of paid leave all at one time or intermittently during the first year, according to a company statement. The policy also applies for each new child. For birth mothers, the four paid weeks are in addition to an enhanced paid maternity leave which has been extended to 12 weeks.
Paid parental leave can be good for parents, children, and the companies that promote it, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). A Boston College study found fewer incidences of maternal depression, a reduction in health care costs thanks to higher rates of breast feeding which promotes infant health, and parents feel increased commitment and engagement to their employers.
According to SHRM, share of companies offering paid parental leave increased significantly between 2016 and 2018 - those offering paid maternity leave has grown from 26 percent to 35 percent. Other types of parental leave also increased: about 29 percent of companies offer paid paternity leave; 28 percent offer paid leave for adoption; and 21 percent offer paid leave to tend to a foster child.