News & Perspectives
New family care leave program expands benefits for employees
March 09, 2018     

For Ryan and Heather Fischer, 2018 has gotten off to a good start. Both employees at Bristol Myers Squibb and parents of two-year-old Adelaide, the Fischers welcomed their second daughter Colette into their lives on January 24 — just three weeks after the company’s new and extended paid family care leave program went into effect. With dual benefits since both are employees, the couple is eligible for eight weeks of paid time off each to care for their young family.

Ryan and Heather Fischer and daughters Colette and Adelaide.

Ryan and Heather Fischer and daughters Colette and Adelaide.

"When the company announced the new program last fall, I was ecstatic," said Ryan, digital capability manager, Global Regulatory and Safety Systems at Bristol Myers Squibb. He has already used two weeks of his paid time off to help Heather, forecasting analyst for clinical trials, Business Insights & Analytics also at Bristol Myers Squibb, when the baby was born. "When Heather goes back to work in April, after using her paid short-term disability time off as well as parental leave benefits, I’ll take another couple of weeks so I have more bonding time with my new daughter."

Being able to take time in shorter intervals of time is another hallmark of the program offering paid time off for critical life events. Available to all eligible U.S. employees including hourly workers, it applies equally to new fathers and mothers of birth, adopted or foster children.

The program is also available to employees who need time to care for seriously ill family members. The inclusive program broadly defines family to include all types of caregivers and family members of all ages who need care, reflecting the needs of the company’s diverse workforce. Just like new parents, family caregivers can take the time all at once or break up the time into smaller increments to meet a family member’s needs.

"We realize that our employees can work best when they feel their responsibilities at home and at work are being supported. The benefits we’ve added provide additional flexibility when their families need them the most,” said Ann Powell Judge, Chief Human Resources Officer. “At Bristol Myers Squibb, we are committed to ensuring that we develop, empower and reward our employees so they can deliver on our mission of bringing innovative medicines to patients."

Paid family care leave programs like Bristol Myers Squibb’s result in talent retention benefits and improve employee motivation, productivity and health, according to recent reports. 

"Our expanded family care leave program is consistent with the value we place on our people as our key competitive advantage." said Judge.

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