The Trendy Employee Perk: Shipping Breast Milk
Imagine this scenario: You’re a working mom who’s just recently returned from maternity leave. You’re still nursing and trying to find a secluded place in the office to pump breast milk every three to four hours. Then you’re hit with a bombshell: You’re going on a three-day business trip to St. Louis. Not only will you miss your newborn child, but you’ll also be forced pay costly shipping fees to send breast milk back home or have your baby drink formula while your gone. (While formula is fine, doctors agree that breast milk is far superior for a child.)
But a few large employers are making a big change with a new employee perk — paying to ship breast milk home.
On Tuesday, Fortune broke the news that Twitter has added breast-milk shipping to its benefits package. Lactating employees will get access to cold-shipping materials and packaging before taking a trip. Holly Murphy, a Twitter sales exec told Forbes that it’s a “game-changer” and said “when you come back to work, you’re thinking so many different thoughts. Then you have to figure out how am I going to get this food I’ve worked so hard for back to my child.”
Twitter’s announcement comes on the heels of Accenture, IBM, and Zillow recently saying that they’ll ship breast milk as well. Meanwhile, EY told Fortune that it’s been offering the benefit for eight years.
Then there’s Milk Stork, a startup that says it can ship up to 34 ounces of breast milk in a refrigerated container overnight.
It sure seems like companies are getting more and more progressive and generous in their maternity and paternity offerings. In fact, Netflix and Microsoft just announced big changes to their maternity/paternity benefits. Netflix instituted an unlimited leave policy for new parents during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption. Employees still get their normal pay and can work part-time, full-time, and basically come-and-go as they wish. Meanwhile, Microsoft extended its parental leave, offering new parents 20 weeks off. Plus the leave is flexible, meaning they don’t have to take it all at once.
Perhaps it’s because millennials are getting older and the folks that used to clamor for beer and ping pong tables are now asking for increased maternity leave and help with childcare. And employers are responding.
Do you know of any Philly-based employers that are shipping breast milk for traveling moms? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter using @BizPhilly.