There's a new competition on Wall Street

There’s a new number by which to measure Wall Street banks: the amount of parental leave they offer employees.

On Wednesday, Barclays became the latest bank to adjust its policies, announcing that non-primary caregivers will get six weeks of leave, up from one.

“We recognise 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, CEO of Barclays Americas, said in a statement.

Under the new policy:

  • Non-primary caregivers will get six weeks of paid leave following their child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. The leave may be taken in two segments in the year.
  • Primary caregivers will still get 16 weeks of paid leave, but will be able to take the leave in two segments within one year of the event.
  • Employees who are called to active military duty will now get 100% of their Barclays pay, less any military pay offset, for up to five years while under an approved Military Leave.

Numerous banks have been changing their parental-leave policies as of late. Goldman Sachs provides 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, according to its website, and last year it increased its paid parental leave for non-primary parents to four weeks.

Morgan Stanley provides 16 weeks of paid parental leave to primary caregivers. JPMorgan last year upped fully paid parental leave for primary caregivers in the US to 16 weeks from 12. Citi offers 13 weeks of pregnancy leave and two weeks of parental leave for secondary caregivers.

And in March, Bank of America told its workers that it would increase fully paid maternity, paternity, and adoption leave in the US to 16 weeks from 12.

The changes are being made to try to help workers maintain a better work-life balance, and to make the firms more attractive places to work.

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