Hannaford Supermarkets unveiled a new parental leave program that will provide qualifying full- and part-time associates with six weeks of fully paid leave during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption or legal placement of a child.
The new policy, designed to support parents and caregivers and their families, goes into effect Sept. 1. All genders and gender identities are eligible to take advantage of the paid parental leave benefits, which will be offered in addition to other qualified time off plans, including short- and long-term disability.
“We see and appreciate that there is a wide spectrum of circumstances that brings families together and we want to ensure we live up to what it means to be an inclusive employer in how we extend our care and support,” said Margo Peffer, VP of human resources. “Having easy access to tools and benefits that support well-being and balance in our personal and professional lives is important for all of us at Hannaford.”
Paid parental leave comes in addition to what the Scarborough, Maine-based retailer already offers its employees. Popular benefits such as major medical and disability coverage; an employee assistance program (EAP); and an education reimbursement provision help Hannaford maintain its reputation as Maine’s “Best Employer,” while also recently acquiring its first ranking as one of “America’s Best Employers by State,” according to Forbes.
“As a parent, I know firsthand the peace of mind that comes with meaningful support to focus on your loved ones after a key life event," Peffer said. "I am proud that we are an early leader in being able to offer a benefit that will improve the health and well-being of our associates and their families.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in March 2018, 17% of all civilian workers had access to paid family leave, and 89% had access to unpaid family leave. Also 16% of workers who work in the private sector had access to paid family leave, while 88% had access to unpaid family leave.
Hannaford employs nearly 27,000 associates throughout New England and New York, and like many grocery retailers, it has also begun to expand its reach with new state-of-the-art stores.