Putting People First: Paid Leave and Nestlé’s Parent Support Policy
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Putting People First: Paid Leave and Nestlé’s Parent Support Policy

Whether you’ve given birth, whether you’ve
adopted, Nestlé is there for that occasion. Our employees’ health and wellness is at the
core of everything we do. If you are a primary caregiver, with Nestlé,
you can get 14 weeks of paid leave and then an additional 12 weeks of unpaid leave. They see it as a way of doing business, a
way to make them more competitive as an employer, and just the right thing to do if we’re going
to be a company that focuses on the first 1,000 days of life for a child. It was just a wonderful experience. I didn’t realize what I missed the first time
around until I got the chance to focus on my family. I think it’s important that we as a company
provide those opportunities for people to have the balance of being at home during this
very important stage of a baby’s life, coming back to work without the weighing of ‘what’s
my job going to be?’ If we can provide that partnership, we’re
doing something right. I am the Director of Government Relations
and Public Affairs. Nestle is a great company, I love working
there. Great products, great values, and they treat
their employees very well. When I got pregnant with Audra, who is our
third child, my boss personally sat down with me and said ‘you know, think about it, please
take advantage of it, because you don’t get that time back.’ I took the fourteen paid weeks, and I came
back to work shortly after that. She really did not want me looking at email,
and when I did happen to look at something or reply to something, she would say ‘why are
you on email?!’ With a prior employer, I had a much shorter
maternity leave. I worked in a really demanding, high-intensity
work environment that relied on us to be available almost 24 hours a day. And this time, I really had the time to focus
on my children, my newborn daughter, my family, my husband- really spend time enjoying the
fact that we had a little girl. I noticed things that I never really took
the time to notice with the boys. That’s time that I will cherish forever. Medford is the proud home of Tombstone Pizza. I’m a Quality Assurance Supervisor and a Factory
Hygienist. I make sure the plant is clean, and I make
sure our food safety systems are in place. You get about a million, a million and a half,
sometimes up to two million pizzas a week. It goes all over the United States. When I was looking at companies and where
I could go, I was looking for a company I could retire with, that had good benefits,
that would take care of me and my family, but also that understood a balance between
work and life. I don’t live to work. I work to live. My priority is my family. Before I was at Nestlé, I got two and a half
weeks off work when Alex was born. It was very short, it was rushed. I was only at the factory for nine or ten
months when my son was born. I still had a lot to learn, and I was still
trying to dig into Nestlé. They were going to give me 14 weeks off from
my job with full pay. I didn’t feel that I needed that much time,
so I took six weeks that I got to spend with my family and not have to worry about my work. Usually when you start a job, you always love
it, and then you hate it, and then you learn to like it. I’ve loved it since day 1 and I haven’t stopped. I work for Nestle Purina PetCare Company in
their HR Operations department. We have two dog parks because we can bring
our pets to campus, which is a little bit unusual in the middle of downtown St. Louis. My husband and I were going through the IVF
process and that’s when we found out about the Parent Support Policy. I was extremely excited, and I knew right
away that I was going to take the full six months with Kayla. I was able to take the time that I needed
to figure things out. Especially now that I have a three-and-a-half-year
old and an eight-month old, I appreciate how beneficial this program was for our family. We’ve got three mother lounges on campus – they
give me enough time to take the breaks I need to go pump, and I think that’s really important. It was amazing. We are founded on nutrition values, and we’re
founded on making a difference in people’s lives. We’re a global organization- there’s a lot
of different policies, cultures, and regulations in other countries. I think U.S. people work work work. We don’t take a lot of time off, even for
vacation. We’re trying to lead the organizations in
the U.S. to change that mindset- that families are important, that companies have a responsibility
to make a difference in the U.S. We have to do our part, and it starts with
the top. It starts with our CEO, it starts with our
leaders in the organization, and I think it will be a way of working in the future.

About Bill McCormick

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