Eli Lilly enhances parental leave benefit

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Eli Lilly made significant changes to parental leave benefits for its employees.

New mothers, fathers, adoptive and foster parents will now be able to take 10 weeks off from work without missing a paycheck.

A birth mother will also have 8 weeks of paid leave for physical recovery for a total of 18 paid weeks. In addition, all new parents may take 10 weeks of unpaid leave.

The new program takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.

The pharmaceutical brand made the announcement in a video online. A spokesperson for the company said they took action after receiving feedback from employees.

Kevin Brinegar, president of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, thinks companies are getting creative to become more attractive employers because unemployment is so low.

“It is part of what employers need to do to attract and retain talent and people with the skills they need to make their companies successful,” he said.

More companies are offering generous parental leave benefits.

On average, the Working Mother 100 Best Companies offer 11 weeks of paid parental leave and 18 percent of those offer gender neutral parental leave, said Meredith Bodgas, editor-in-chief of Working Mother. Eli Lilly has been on the list for more than 20 years.

She believed companies are doing this as more states pass laws requiring companies to offer gender neutral paid family leave.

“28 weeks with some paid and some unpaid is on par for what great companies are doing in 2018 and 2019,” Bodgas said.

She added more companies are helping parents once they return to work too by giving them regular pay but not requiring them to come in for their full hours.

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