What is the Parent Support Policy?
It provides Nestlé employees who are parents of newborn children up to 14 weeks of fully paid parental leave and up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The policy also includes a number of additional benefits, including:
- The ability to return to work part-time during the 26-week leave window
- Medical and prescription drug coverage for infertility treatments
- A free breast pump or a credit toward an upgraded breast bump (if desired), along with access to a lactation specialist and additional materials including books or nursing bras for breastfeeding mothers
- Access to Nestlé’s Maternity Support Program that provides resources, counselors and guidance for new mothers
- A “baby bundle” filled with gifts for a growing family, including a stuffed animal, baby bib, infant skin and lip care, nutrition reading materials, and a baby book to encourage reading from Day 1, along with Gerber coupons for use towards baby food and/or infant formula
Who is eligible to use the PSP?
PSP is open to all Nestlé employees in the U.S. who have been with the company for at least six months and are regularly scheduled to work at least 30 hours per week, including hourly workers and commissioned sales force team members.
The full range of benefits provided under the PSP are available for any employee designated as the ongoing Primary Caregiver of a child younger than 6 months of age, including:
- Biological mother or father
- Adoptive mother or father
- Foster mother or father
- Spouse or registered domestic partner with primary and ongoing responsibility of caring for a dependent newborn child
How does Nestlé support new parents in the workplace?
Returning to work doesn’t mean the end of continued care and support for employees. In addition to the benefits provided under the PSP like phased/part-time return, Nestlé offers a flexible work policy that allows employees to work with their managers to adapt the start and end times of the workday. And for mothers who breastfeed, Nestlé offers guaranteed access to dedicated breastfeeding rooms during work hours at head offices and all sites with more than 50 employees, with accommodations made at other sites.
How does Nestlé support non-traditional families?
Families who decide to have a baby can travel very different journeys.
One out of every eight couples in the U.S. has trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. To offer a helping hand, Nestlé provides financial and consultative infertility benefits. Specifically, employees can connect with specially trained nurses who can offer guidance on infertility options and costs. Employees also can tap financial support for infertility treatments. The value of the medical infertility benefit was increased 250 percent in 2017 to allow for access to more effective treatments that are more expensive but can help families avoid premature birth or multiple births that risk compromising infant health.
Some couples, including same-sex couples, may alternatively choose adoption as their path toward starting a family. Nestlé provides additional support for this option by helping eligible employees pay for adoption expenses, which can be substantial. Families adopting infants have the same access to parental leave as those who have had a biological child.
What is phased return?
Coming back to work can be a tough adjustment for parents and their newborns. To ease the transition, primary caregivers have the option to return to work on a reduced schedule for the final eight weeks of leave. This allows for a gradual reintroduction to working life and a chance to establish balance before returning full time. Ongoing return-to-work consultation with professional counselors is also available via phone.
Does taking advantage of the PSP affect an employee’s job security?
No. The policy includes employment protection, so employees know that their job security will not be negatively impacted by their decision to take advantage of the PSP benefits.
How was the PSP created?
The PSP was launched on January 1, 2016 for all U.S. employees. The development of the policy was informed by international standards established by the International Labour Organization Maternity Protection Convention, which aims to support gender equality in the workplace and promote breastfeeding. Most essentially, the convention promotes:
- Maternity protection
- Employment protection and non-discrimination
- A healthy work environment
- Flexible work arrangements
- A work environment conducive for breastfeeding
What’s the goal of the Parent Support Policy?
In the words of Paul Bakus, President of Corporate Affairs for Nestlé USA, we at Nestlé believe new parents deserve more. The policy reflects the knowledge that the first 1,000 days — the time from the start of a mother’s pregnancy to a child’s second birthday — are key to establishing a lifelong healthy future. During this period, families need nutrition, stimulation, and care for their child to reach his or her full potential. The PSP aims to give employees the support necessary to make this level of care possible.
The PSP is an extension of the mission that drove our founder, Henri Nestlé, to develop an infant cereal to save the lives of malnourished children: to support families and contribute to a healthier future.
How do employees get started with the PSP?
Current U.S. employees can learn more and register to use the PSP by logging onto The Nest, Nestlé’s employee intranet, and navigating to “Time Off” or “Life Events.”
If you don’t work for Nestlé but are intrigued by what you’ve read, come join us! Check out opportunities in our new Arlington, Virginia, headquarters at www.nestleusacareers.com/dcmetro.
Isn’t the need for parental leave bigger than Nestlé?
In short, yes. Only 13 percent of private sector workers in the U.S. have access to paid family leave. This strains new parents, both personally and financially. A significant body of research suggests that supporting employees as they start a family is better for business. We agree.
By making the first year of PSP data publicly available, we aim to contribute to the ongoing national dialogue about extended parental leave policies, particularly in the area of gender balance and inclusivity in the workplace. Dig into data and stories from our first year here, and learn more about implementing a parental leave policy in your workplace here.