BLOOMINGTON, Ill.,
30
October
2019
|
06:09 PM
America/Chicago

Benefits for Your Real Life

New family-friendly benefits boost balance in employees' work and personal life.

Time off and benefit enhancements for State Farm® employees got a boost this year thanks to employee feedback, evaluation of industry trends and executive support.

“When the Human Resources team came to me and said we need to do something different because our employees say they need more time to help their families, I could certainly relate,” said Mary Schmidt, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer.

Mary says her experiences as a wife, mom and daughter helped shape her perspective.

“Almost 30 years ago, when I had my first baby, there wasn’t a lot of time off for new moms,” remembers Mary. “I asked my boss for unpaid leave so I could have a few more weeks at home. My husband and I had to really budget so we could afford for me to be with her.”

Enhanced Parental Leave

Starting in October, all parents – birthing, non-birthing, adoptive – will receive six weeks of paid Parental Leave.  Parental Leave is in addition to the six or eight weeks of paid Short Term Disability that eligible birthing moms receive. All parents also have the option to take four more weeks unpaid to be used within one year of the birth or adoption.

State Farm also doubled the adoption reimbursement benefit for employees.

“Adoption is near and dear to my heart. My younger brother and sister-in-law just adopted a beautiful baby girl. I may be her aunt, but I see her as my grandbaby…until my kids help me out there,” Mary added with a laugh.

Life Leave for Health Concerns

But it’s not just parents who need help. Sometimes, so do their kids. Last year, Mary and her brothers put their mom in a memory care facility.

“Family comes first, for all of us,” Mary emphasized. “I’m still struggling with my mom’s dementia diagnosis. Instead of being her daughter, I have become a caregiver. It’s stressful, sometimes heart-breaking and unfortunately not unique. I know many other employees are going through something similar and need support.”

Starting Jan. 1, in addition to the State Farm paid time off (PTO) plan, employees will also have a new Life Leave benefit. This allows employees to take up to 40 hours annually for their own or a family member’s health condition. Think sick kids or ailing parents. Beginning next year, employees like Mary can use Life Leave to care for their sick parent or attend medical appointments.

“It just so happens I can personally relate to a lot of the benefit changes this year,” Mary said. “But we are constantly seeking employee input so we can respond to what people need in today’s world.”

Enjoy Celebration Leave

And sometimes what we need is a little celebration. In 2020, employees will also receive Celebration Leave. This leave provides one paid day off work each calendar year for employees to enjoy, celebrate, or recognize an event important to them.

“It could be to celebrate your birthday, Halloween, or in my case, another great New Year’s Eve with my family,” Mary said.

Life is full of celebrations and challenges, the State Farm benefit package is meant to support employees through it all. The power of our benefits is real!