Christiana Care announced a commitment to provide at least 12 weeks of paid parental leave to employees beginning in Fiscal Year 2021, which runs from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
With a job total of 12,000, Christiana Care is the state’s largest private employer.
The benefit will apply to eligible caregivers — mothers and fathers — for the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child.
“We know that the bond formed between mother and child in the first few weeks of life can have a tremendous impact on the health of the baby and the well-being of the family,” said Janice E. Nevin, Christiana Care CEO “We are delighted that we will be able to provide this enhanced parental leave benefit to our caregivers next year.”
Evidence shows that paid parental leave can have significant positive effects on health and economic outcomes throughout the life cycle. It supports breastfeeding, access to care and good nutrition during a critical time, and reduced stress on the mother and family, a release from the health care system stated.
The announcement comes at a time when the state of Delaware – the state’s largest employer by some accounts – recently implemented a similar benefit for its employees.
“We applaud the state of Delaware for having the vision and courage to take this step for its employees,” Nevin said. “While we understand that paid parental leave is an expensive benefit for employers to offer, we hope that other organizations will consider taking this step to make a positive impact on the health and prosperity of our community.”
Currently, Christiana Care provides a robust benefits package that includes many flexible leave options for employees, including paid time off, disability leave accounts and optional short-term disability, as well as protected unpaid parental leave in accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act.
Last December, Christiana Care was the first health system in Delaware to increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour. And in January, Christiana Care introduced a community service benefit that offers paid time for caregivers to volunteer at charitable, non-profit organizations.