Credit Suisse Extends Family Leave to 20 Weeks for U.S. Workers

  • Swiss bank seeks to attract and retain employees with policy
  • Lender increases time off allowed for the care of a new child

Credit Suisse Group AG will extend the paid time U.S. employees can take off from work to care for a new child as the Swiss bank seeks to retain and attract workers looking for a more accommodating corporate culture.

QuickTake Family Leave

The Zurich-based lender will give 20 weeks of paid leave to U.S. employees who act as the primary caregiver after the birth or adoption of a child, according to Marcy Frank, a spokeswoman. That’s up from 12 weeks of paid time off and another eight weeks of unpaid leave. The change, effective Jan. 1, was announced to employees in a memo sent Monday by Tim O’Hara, chief executive officer and president of the firm’s U.S. business and head of the trading division.

“We certainly see this as a competitive program, and I think one of the things we are recognizing is that our competition is not just financial services,” said Elizabeth Donnelly, head of benefits for the Americas. “When you look at talent coming out of the big schools they are looking at firms that offer flexibility.”

CEO Tidjane Thiam has embarked on a broad restructuring as Wall Street vies for talent with other industries including technology. Banks have moved to counter criticism of a work culture that features long hours and frequent travel, improving benefits for parents, making it easier for younger employees to attain promotions and limiting weekend work for associates and interns.

The Wall Street Journal reported the policy changes earlier Monday.

Employees who aren’t the primary caregiver will continue to get one week of paid leave and 19 weeks of unpaid leave, according to the memo. Employees who work at least 20 hours a week are eligible for the new policy. And those who took leave beyond the 12 weeks in 2015 will be eligible for a retroactive benefit, according to the memo.

Earlier this year, Credit Suisse said it would pay for a nanny to accompany employees on work trips, covering the cost of travel, lodging and food, Donnelly said. That policy also takes effect in January.

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