Today, Apple has announced a new benefit which can help new parents transition back to work after their time off. Apple is offering new parents a “four-week grace period” when they return from leave.
The new parents will be paid like full-time employees during the four-week grace period; however, will have the option to work part-time and fix their own hours. All new parents will fall under this policy including those who adopt or take in foster children.
Moreover, Apple will give more support to parents who adopt by now by offsetting adoption-related costs by $14,000 — almost triple the previous amount. Apple’s Paid Family Care benefit will also offer an extra four weeks of paid time off to adoptive parents.
Typically, Apple has offered 16 weeks of paid leave to birth parents like other tech companies. On top of that, this new four-week grace period is an extra benefit. Retail employees will get these benefits too.
Apple’s VP of retail and people, Deirdre O’Brien, told Fast Company that the changes came after talking to new parents especially women about the difficulties they faced when returning to work.
“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.
“I think many times working parents feel like they need to deal with that quietly and make it seem perfectly seamless,” O’Brien says. “We all know life is complicated. So we’re making it really clear that we’re supporting them in that journey.”
Apart from these changes, Apple is expanding the mental wellness benefits that it offers to employees as well. Employees can now get twice the number of free counseling sessions every year and also the option of telemedicine for increased flexibility.