Hilton leads hotel industry with progressive paid parental leave policy
In 2016, Hilton Worldwide introduced new parental leave policies, which apply to employees at properties owned or managed by Hilton and at its corporate offices. Hilton’s new policies give 10 weeks of fully paid leave to new mothers who have given birth and two weeks of fully paid leave to new fathers, and both hourly and salaried employees can take advantage of the new parental leave benefits once they have worked for Hilton for at least a year. At the time the new leave policy was announced, Hilton reported that hourly employees made up about 75 percent of its U.S. workforce.
Laura Fuentes, Senior Vice President of Talent, Rewards and People Analytics at Hilton, told Hcareers, “We have received an outpouring of positive feedback from Team Members around our parental leave policies.” According to Fuentes, more than 675 hourly and salaried Hilton employees have benefited from the new policies so far.
As Fuentes puts it, Hilton leads the industry with its new parental leave policies. “Our policy is the best offered by any major global hospitality company in the U.S., covering Team Members at all levels of the company, including both salaried and hourly,” she said. “We see an opportunity for the private sector to lead by example in offering comprehensive family-focused benefits to all employees.”
Fuentes said that these policies came as a response to requests from Hilton employees: “[W]e want to create a positive environment that supports both personal and professional growth. To do so, we frequently ask Team Members for their feedback and suggestions.” Employees mentioned parental leave as an important benefit, which led Hilton to adopt the new policies last year.
Adoptive parents are also eligible for paid leave at Hilton. “We also recognize that our Team Members form family units in many ways, one of them being adoption,” siad Fuentes. Hilton’s policies grant adoptive parents two weeks of fully paid leave. In addition, Hilton expanded its adoption assistance benefit; the company now covers up to $10,000 of adoption expenses for employees, with no limit on the number of adoptions. Both hourly and salaried employees can claim that benefit.
Hilton may continue to improve its benefits in response to employee feedback, according to Fuentes. “[W]e strive to make Hilton a great place to work for all Team Members. We encourage feedback to help us develop the best benefits for them, and we make adjustments where necessary,” she said. Hilton offers a GED assistance program, and it is expanding opportunities for employees to work remotely. The company also implemented a standard of scheduling hourly employees 10 days ahead of time to give people more advance notice of the shifts they’re required to work.
Fuentes said that employees appreciate the new parental leave policies. “We continue to receive positive feedback from our Team Members – even if they aren’t directly benefiting from the policy. Employees appreciate companies that support both their personal and professional lives.” She continued, “Not only does this policy support retention of our best people, but it also helps with recruitment when our Team Members share their positive experiences with friends and family.”