Microsoft offers four weeks paid family caregiver leave to employees globally

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It now offers employee caregivers four weeks of paid leave plus eight weeks of unpaid leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

In April this year, Microsoft introduced enhanced parental benefits and a family caregiver leave for its India employees. The family caregiver leave benefit includes four weeks of paid leave to take care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition. The definition of family in this case is the spouse or the domestic partner, parents, in-laws, siblings, grandparents and children.

Now, the company has gone ahead and rolled-out the same across its offices worldwide. It now offers employee caregivers four weeks of paid leave and eight weeks of unpaid leave to care for a seriously ill family member.

The decision spells significant sensitivity on the part of the organisation. In a blog on LinkedIn, Kathleen Hogan, EVP, human resources, shares the reasons for introducing the enhanced leave policy. “There are also times when life happens and we need to scale back to accommodate the unexpected,” she writes.

Drawing inspiration from her experiences through the career journey, she explains why it is important for an organisation to also support employees in the journey of their personal and familial life. It is all interconnected. She shares how she had to take breaks or juggle responsibilities – both planned and unplanned – for tending to her new-born son and then due to her breast cancer.

From her experiences, she says she realised that it is crucial that organisations support employees in dealing with the dilemma of balancing work along with caring for children or elderly. “In all these scenarios, the birth of a child, one’s own health needs, or the needs of a close family member, one thing is certain: employees need flexibility and support to make a decision that’s best for them,” Hogan opines.

In line with that, Microsoft, that previously offered caregivers eight weeks of unpaid leave, has gone ahead with the enhanced leave policy. Hogan says, “As a company, we’re always looking for ways to invest in our people and make Microsoft an exceptional place to work.”

Microsoft already offers the benefit to employees in 22 countries; it will be rolled out worldwide for 120,000 workers during the next six months. “This important new benefit represents a significant milestone in our effort to build a culture of diversity and inclusion, and it demonstrates our deep commitment to employee wellbeing and care, and respect for the full career journey,” Hogan concludes.

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