London: Standard Chartered will offer at least 20 weeks of paid leave to new parents starting next month, joining a wave of companies expanding benefits for dads and adoptive parents as well as moms.
The bank, which had previously offered 20 paid weeks for maternity and two weeks of pay for paternity and adoption leave in its biggest market in Hong Kong, hopes the new policies will attract and retain talent, according to a statement Wednesday.
The policy takes effect from September 1 globally, though some markets will implement it at a later date once local regulatory approvals have been obtained, according to the bank.
The move puts the London-based lender ahead of most of the biggest US firms, just 9 per cent of which offered at least 12 paid weeks off for all new parents in 2022, according to a report from JUST Capital, up from 6 per cent the year previous.
Standardized policies for both parents are important because they encourage women to return to work sooner, helping to ease the gender pay gap by driving up wages and labor-force participation. Longer paternity leave can also boost the personal and economic wellbeing of working families and has been shown to lead to improved health and development outcomes for children.