Unique Benefits: Family Leave Policy Provides Time Off for New Dads
As Amgen works to develop treatments to care for people with serious illnesses, we also want to take care of our staff. Our staff are more than the expertise they bring to work; they are also parents, partners, caregivers and individuals navigating the challenges of life. This story shares one of the ways Amgen provides resources that support the overall well-being of staff and their families.
Having a New Baby is Harder Than You Imagine
Chris with his wife and daughter
When Chris, senior manager, Center for Observational Research (CfOR), came to Amgen he had just finished his post doc in epidemiology at the National Institutes of Health and was excited to join a company with a visionary leadership team and a strong focus on publishing scientific research. Four years later with the birth of his daughter, Chris was excited about a completely different Amgen benefit: paid paternity leave. “It’s nice to have official support without having to take vacation or sick time,” says Chris. “It makes you realize the company has an emphasis on individuals.”
Providing paid time off for new parents is part of Amgen’s Parental Leave policy – offered in the Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii – which provides parents (dads, moms and partners) six weeks of paid leave for family bonding within the first year of birth, adoption, foster care placement or designation as a legal guardian. The six weeks can be used all at once or throughout the year in a minimum of two-week increments.
Chris took three weeks after his daughter’s birth and plans to take another three weeks when his wife returns to work. “People encouraged me to take as much time as I could and my management recognized the importance of family time. You never get that time back and this allowed me to also help my wife during her recovery,” says Chris, who is a first-time dad. “You don’t know how hard having a new baby is until you do it!”
Dedicated Time for Adjusting and Bonding
David, senior associate, CfOR Strategic Planning & Operations, already knew what parenting a newborn was like when he found out his wife was pregnant with their second child just after he joined Amgen. With the birth of his first son, David had used vacation time and unpaid leave to be home after the birth. “For my dad and father-in-law, paternity leave wasn’t even an option, but I’ve always wanted to be there,” says David. “Although the Family and Medical Leave Act (1993) now allows unpaid time off for new fathers, it was really nice to know Amgen’s paternity leave meant I could also financially provide for my family.”
David appreciated how easy the process was and how accepted the practice of paternity leave was at Amgen. “I let my team know my plans from the beginning, and they were very positive,” says David. “Amgen completely removes you from the system during leave, so it gives you free reign to be present with your family. Having a new baby and a three-year-old was an adjustment, so it was refreshing to have that dedicated time to be with them.”
Learn about Amgen’s benefits, including our U.S. Parental Leave by clicking here.
David with his wife and children