JPMorgan Chase expanded its parental leave policy on Thursday. The bank, starting Jan. 1, will give parents 16 weeks of leave for either the birth or adoption of a child, regardless of who is the primary caregiver, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg.
The “primary guardian” clarification may come in recognition of a $5 million settlement JPMorgan agreed to pay in 2019 over discrimination claims filed by employees, alleging the bank’s policies were biased against fathers.
JPMorgan also increased — to 10, from six — the number of sick days it will offer to its full-time employees, the bank said Thursday. And it increases – up to 20 days – the leave lost for employees on the death of a spouse, domestic partner or child, or because of stillbirth or miscarriage, the memo stated.
The 20-day total puts JPMorgan on par with rival Goldman Sachs, which announced a similar benefit increase last year.
JPMorgan employees are also eligible for up to four weeks of paid leave to care for a spouse, domestic partner, child or terminally ill parent, the bank said Thursday.
The benefits boost comes as several big banks, over the past two years, have sought to improve their work-life balance offerings in the hope of retaining top talent.
Bank of America in September said it would offer a four-week paid sabbatical, starting next year, to employees who have worked for the company for 15 years — with longer periods for staff who have been there for 20 or 30 years.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank isn’t the first to offer sabbaticals. Goldman last year said it would offer a six-week unpaid sabbatical to employees who have been at the bank for 15 years or more. Citi in 2020 said it would begin offering sabbaticals of up to 12 weeks to employees with five years or more. But workers will get just 25% of their basic salary when they leave, the bank said.
JPMorgan’s policy changes are aimed not only at old employees but also at new ones — just like last year’s element of Goldman.
“We want to offer a compelling value proposition to current and prospective employees, and want to make sure we’re leading, not just competing,” Bentley de Beyer, Goldman’s head of human resources, told The Wall Street Journal in November 2021.