IBM now offers more than 4 months paid maternity leave

Megan Rose Dickey
Parental leave benefits is a great way to attract and retain employees.

Parental leave benefits is a great way to attract and retain employees. That's partly why IBM is extending its maternity leave from 14 weeks of paid time off to up to 20 weeks of paid time off. That 20 weeks includes eight weeks of short-term disability because having a baby seems to qualify as a temporary disability.

IBM is also increasing paid parental leave for dads, partners and adoptive parents from six weeks to 12 weeks. These benefits will be available for employees who became new parents anytime after November 2016. New parents have up to one year to take their paid leave.

IBM is not the only tech company to offer improved benefits around parental leave. Facebook, for example, offers four months of paid leave for all new parents -- regardless of whether or not they gave birth to the baby. Netflix, on the other hand, offers "unlimited" time off for up to a year after the birth or adoption of the child.

IBM will also reimburse parents up to $20,000 for eligible adoption or surrogacy expenses, including the costs associated with surrogate birth mothers.

"As the landscape for working parents changes, it’s abundantly clear that there is no one-size-fits–all approach for the issues faced by parents who are balancing family with outside work every day," IBM VP of Employee Benefits Barbara Brickmeier wrote on the company's blog.

For parents whose children require special care and assistance, IBM will reimburse employees up to $50,000 for any services they need to provide for their children with mental, physical or developmental disabilities. IBM will also continue offering its milk delivery program for nursing mothers who are traveling on business either within the U.S. or internationally.