Time & Attendance
By Andie Burjek
Oct. 14, 2016
International hotel chain Hilton Corp. is aiming to provide a hospitable environment for its employees as well as its guests. One way of accomplishing this is through a wide range of benefits, the most recent of which is an adoption assistance program.
“We frequently ask team members for their feedback and suggestions,” said Laura Fuentes, senior vice president of talent, rewards and people analytics at Hilton, in an email interview. “Last year, we identified that parental leave was one area where we could add to our industry-leading programs and provide even more support and flexibility to team members and their families.”
They pinpointed adoption as one of the many ways an employee might choose to start a family.
Hilton’s adoption assistance benefit, which begins Jan. 1, includes reimbursement on expenses up to $10,000 and two weeks of paid parental leave. There isn’t a limit on the number of adoptions this applies to, and it covers hourly and salaried U.S. team members who have been at Hilton for at least a year, averaging at least 30 hours a week.
Although not common, the offering of this type of benefit is on the rise.
Employers that offer paid leave for adoption has increased from 17 percent to 20 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to the Society for Human Resource Management 2016 Employee Benefits Survey. Nine percent of employers provide additional assistance for adoption, for example, through a stipend.
Stipends or reimbursements for adoption range from $5,000 to $25,000, according to Jackie Reinberg, national practice leader of absence, disability management and life at consultancy Willis Towers Watson. The average is about $10,000, which is what Hilton is offering, Reinberg said.
Adoption assistance benefits fit into Hilton’s overall strategy to make it a great place to work for employees and to foster both professional and personal growth, said Fuentes. It offers other family-friendly benefits like paid time off, a GED assistance program and remote workforce opportunities.
Family-friendly benefits also help Hilton attract and retain the best talent, she added, which is good for employees and good for business as well.
“Parental leave and adoption assistance are important to our team members, therefore they are important to us,” said Fuentes. “We are proud to offer the best and most comprehensive family benefits in the industry and are continually looking for ways to support our team members’ personal and professional growth.”
Andie Burjek is a Workforce associate editor. Comment below, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.
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