Microsoft today announced improvements to their employee benefits program to create an environment where people can do their best work. Today, they announced enhancements to their U.S. corporate employee benefits in three areas that employees consistently rank among the most important: having time to renew; saving for the future; and flexibility needed to spend time with new children.
We’re enhancing our paid Parental Leave to 12 weeks, paid at 100 percent, for all mothers and fathers of new children. For birth mothers, this is in addition to the eight weeks of maternity disability leave they currently receive, paid at 100 percent, enabling them to now take a total of 20 weeks of fully paid leave if they choose.
Additionally, we’ll offer birth mothers an expanded opportunity to use Short-Term Disability Leave during the two weeks prior to their scheduled due date to manage the physical impact that often comes with late pregnancy and to prepare for the upcoming birth.
We will also offer flexibility for when eligible parents can take leave. Eligible parents will now have the option to take their Parental Leave either in one continuous 12-week period or split into two periods. These parents will also have the option to phase back into work on a half-time basis.
Additional paid holidays:
Beginning in 2016, we’ll add Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day to our list of Microsoft holidays in the U.S. This creates two new company-wide breaks that align to the federal calendar and create time for us to pause in the lengthy period between New Year’s Day and Memorial Day. We now offer 12 paid holidays (which includes two floating holidays), in addition to paid vacation time that employees accrue. We believe this will provide employees with more opportunity to take time to recharge and invest that time in ways that are meaningful to them, while honoring Dr. King and U.S. Presidents.
Increased 401(k) match:
Retirement readiness is an important part of overall financial wellness, so beginning January 1, 2016, we’ll increase the company’s 401(k) match from 50 percent of the first 6 percent that employees defer, to 50 percent of all regular deferrals. With the current IRS regular deferral limit of $18,000, this means employees will have the opportunity for Microsoft to match their contributions up to $9,000 per year. This will allow employees to save more through this tax-advantaged savings vehicle and grow their retirement savings faster.