Today, I am delighted to share several new benefits we’ve recently announced at Nitro in support of team members who may be on or considering a path to parenthood, whatever that looks like. It seems fitting to share this on International Women’s Day given the 2022 theme of #BreakTheBias, when this particular topic can often be associated with damaging stereotypes and prejudice.
With these new benefits, we also want to openly acknowledge the silent and typically taboo situations that people too regularly find themselves in along this journey, so in addition to extended leave options, we are introducing flexible leave and fertility benefits for those who may be undergoing fertility treatments, pursuing alternative paths to parenthood (including adoption and surrogacy), or suffering a pregnancy loss at any stage (we believe all losses matter, regardless of how, why or when). A summary of the new benefits:
- Parental Leave - Increased from 16 to 20 weeks for birthing/primary carer parents; 8 weeks for non-birthing/secondary carer parents (includes new arrivals via adoption and surrogacy).
- Phased Return to Work - Phased RTW plan for birthing/primary carer parents, customized to an individual’s personal situation.
- Family Planning Leave - 10 days of dedicated parental leave for fertility treatments, adoption appointments, etc., regardless of birthing status.
- Leave After Loss — 2 weeks of dedicated parental leave in the unfortunate event of a loss at any stage, including eligibility for a custom Phased RTW plan.
- Family Planning Assistance — Fertility treatment and other related benefits now available through Maven, a new partner I would highly recommend, particularly for any companies with a globally-disparate workforce.
- Baby Bonding Benefit — $500 USD stipend to use as parents see fit (for things like lactation consultants, baby classes, etc.)
Having personally experienced fertility struggles, including multiple losses, over the past couple of years (amid a global pandemic to boot!), I know how lonely and tough this path can be, so these benefits are close to my heart and something I'm very passionate about. Nobody should suffer in silence, no matter what they’re dealing with, and as businesses, we both have the opportunity AND a responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of our employees, which includes offering support when and where it matters most.
Finally, to those of you who may be on the rollercoaster right now -- taking a cocktail of meds each night, quietly attending doctor appointments before morning meetings, trying to operate “business as usual” and still showing up for your jobs, family, friends, etc., all while waiting on tenterhooks for critical updates -- I see you. Take a deep breath and some small comfort in knowing that you are not alone on this journey, and we support you.