The new program, effective July 1, 2017, offers eight weeks of paid time off for employees after the birth or adoption of a child. For birth mothers who typically receive six weeks to eight weeks of recovery time, this doubles their paid leave.
“We are excited and proud to be able to offer this program to our U.S. employees,” says Malcolm Farrant, vice president, human resources. “This program allows more time for mothers, fathers and for adoptive parents to bond with their new child when it most matters.
“We want to recruit top quality employees. Programs like this one, combined with our compensation and benefits package and the many learning and development opportunities available, further position ExxonMobil as an employer of choice.”
For ExxonMobil employees and married couple Michael Lawson, 33, and Meghan Janzen, 30, who are expecting their first child in December 2017, the program is “a huge relief”.
“This is such an exciting but daunting time, being a first-time mom, not knowing what to expect and how I am going to cope. Having my husband at home with me through all of that when our son arrives will make such a huge difference as I navigate motherhood,” Meghan, a senior geoscientist, says.
“Having the paid time off will also help me to be more flexible when I return to work and our son goes to daycare. It means I’ll be able to have some extra time at home as he gets used to daycare, which will reduce the worry.”
Michael, an associate geologist, says his supervisor has been very supportive as they worked to find ways to maximize the time he will have to be with his family.
“Now, with this program, I will have more time to spend with the baby and bond with him, and I don’t need to use my vacation time to do that,” he says. “And when Meghan goes back to the office I’ll be able to be at home to help take the burden off. It’s a real game changer for us.”
Employee Communications Manager Amber Gardner, 35, echoes these sentiments. “I was super excited to hear the news about the new policy. It’s going to have a huge impact on our growing family,” she says.
Amber, whose husband Drew also works for ExxonMobil, is expecting her second child at the end of March. Their daughter Emerson, 2, is looking forward to a new brother or sister.
“My husband will also have more time with the baby. For us, it’s especially important in those early weeks and months to be with our children. It’s so exciting to see the company taking this step to make life easier for parents.”
Malcolm says the program complements the suite of workplace flexibility programs the company offers to employees to help them balance work and life.
“We know that when parents have the support of the company they can feel confident in returning to work. That’s great for parents and great for our business as it helps us to retain our talented workforce,” he says.
The eight weeks can be taken continuously or in one-week increments and must be used within 12 months from the birth or adoption date. The program applies to regular, non-represented U.S. employees.