SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–For the first time, new parents working at Mercy Hospital will soon have paid time off from work to spend with their child.
The organization is giving two weeks of paid leave for moms and dads who also adopt or take in a foster child.
The decision was made after employees pushed Mercy for the benefit.
The paid time off isn’t replacing maternity leave or other benefits, rather it’s now offering pay for two of the twelve weeks off. This will mean less cutting into sick days or vacation days to get the paid time off.
When registered nurse Abbey Crotinger isn’t caring for other people’s children in the NICU, the expectant mother is thinking about the upcoming birth of her own child in July. While she’s away from the job, she’s thankful to know Mercy will offer her two weeks of paid time to spend with her first born.
“For me personally, I am very excited. I did not have enough sick time or paid time off to include the full twelve weeks so now this will allow me to take that full twelve weeks and not have to come back two weeks early and allow that extra two weeks bonding time with my new infant,” says Crotinger.
Mercy Hospital has 10,000 employees in Springfield who can utilize the new benefit and nearly 40,000 across Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Vice President of Human Resources, Laura Starks says Mercy believes in meeting the needs of its employees including new fathers.
“This benefit that we’re offering to our Mercy co-workers is in direct response to the voices of our co-workers. Our co-workers wanted more choice and wanted more time available to them and so we’re excited to hear that feedback and then even more excited to offer it to them so while it’s not unique to Mercy, it is unique to our co-workers’ needs,” says Starks.
“I love my job and I would love to come back as soon as possible, but that extra two weeks will just allow things to go smoother at home and allow my transition to come back to work be more beneficial,” says Crotinger.
Mercy’s two weeks of paid parental leave will take effect on July 1st.