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Barclays Boosts Childcare Leave for U.S. Staff in Retention Push

  • Non-primary caregivers get six weeks’ paid leave, up from one
  • Barclays is latest to improve working conditions for staff

Barclays Plc said it’s letting staff in the U.S. take more time off after having a baby, following a trend on Wall Street to try and make it easier for bankers to “successfully integrate” their professional and personal lives.

Non-primary caregivers can now take up to six weeks off with pay, as opposed to one, following a child’s birth, adoption or foster-care placement, according to a statement from the London-based lender. Primary caregivers will be allowed to split their 16 weeks’ leave into two chunks instead of having to take it all at once.

Barclays is the latest bank to adopt a friendlier approach in a bid to retain employees as pay gets less generous and financial companies compete with other industries that offer many perks. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Group AG have also made changes such as requiring analysts to take some weekends off and improving the treatment of interns and junior employees.

“We recognize the importance of our people in the continued success of Barclays, and these enhancements support our culture of building a flexible work environment,” Joe McGrath, chief executive officer of Barclays in the Americas, said in the statement. The new policies apply to both investment bankers and Barclaycard credit-card unit employees in the region.

Additionally, those called up for military service will be eligible for their full Barclays pay, minus any military offset, for five years under the new rules.

Credit Suisse last year said it would extend paid leave for primary caregivers in the U.S. to 20 weeks, up from 12 weeks. It left paid leave for non-primary caregivers at one week. Private-equity firm KKR & Co. extended parental leave and said it would pay for a new child and nanny to travel on business trips.

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