General Mills to allow birth mothers 18-20 weeks paid time off in new employee policy

Minneapolis-based General Mills announced a new policy that will likely be a big hit among expecting and new parents in the company.

Wednesday, the company announced it would expand its employee benefits so that, effective Jan. 1., new birth mothers will receive 18-20 weeks paid time off and fathers, partners and adoptive parents will receive 12 weeks paid time off.

In addition to the parental leave, General Mills also made upgrades to its caregiver leave, bereavement and short-term disability benefits.

Caregivers will receive two-weeks of paid leave when family members fall ill. For bereavement, employees will receive up to four weeks off and for short-term disability, employees will receive 100 percent paid time for up to eight weeks and 65 percent of pay for up to 26 weeks.

“We spent a lot of time talking with employees at different life stages and asking questions about their pain points and what contributes to feeling torn between work and home,” said Jacqueline Williams-Roll, chief human resources officer at General Mills. “Out of those discussions, we developed a strategy to focus on these moments when employees really need support the most.”