A new group was introduced at the Clinton Global Initiative 2015 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, with the purpose of boosting workplace support for new parents. A joint effort between companies like Nestlé, Danone, and Ernst & Young, the Working Parent Support Coalition will tackle issues like parental leave policies and in-office support for new parents.
“Earlier this summer we announced a new global Maternity Protection Policy because we believe all of our new parents deserve more,” Paul Bakus, president of corporate affairs at Nestlé, said in a statement. “Today, with industry leaders, we’re taking another step in the right direction by committing to evaluate and share the impact of our new maternity leave policy on employees in the U.S. Our goal is to use this information to contribute to the ongoing dialogue around maternity leave policies so we all can continue to improve.”
The coalition is also partnering with the American Academy of Pediatrics and Cornell University; the two institutions will share their resources to help instate workplace programs that better support new parents.
Nestlé isn’t unique in making changes to its parental leave rules: The formation of the Working Parent Support Coalition comes just as a number of tech companies have taken steps to remedy the U.S.’s lack of federal guidelines mandating paid leave for new parents. Since the U.S. is the only developed country in the world that does not require paid maternity leave, a number of state governments and companies have had to take matters into their own hands. (California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have state laws that guarantee paid parental leave.) Last month, Netflix altered its company-wide policy to offer new moms and dads up to a year of paid leave; Adobe made a similar move a few days later, opting to give new mothers 26 weeks of paid time off. Though Netflix’s policy is by far the most flexible, tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Twitter all provide more than four months of paid maternity leave.
As part of its role in the Working Parent Support Coalition, Nestlé will be conducting a study to analyze the effects of its new parental leave policy on employee retention–the results of which it will publish late next year.