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Manulife boosts paid maternity, parental leave as it enhances benefits for its employees


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Manulife is increasing its family leave support for its Canadian employees in 2021.

Starting Jan. 1, it will be providing 20 weeks of paid maternity leave and 12 weeks of paid parental and adoption leave. The changes come on top of other enhancements announced earlier this year, including a $20,000 per year reimbursement for adoption and surrogacy support and fertility medication.

“We know what it means for so many of our colleagues to have a family and we are proud to provide this valuable support to help them achieve this important dream,” said Pam Kimmet, Manulife’s chief human resources officer.

Evolving staff benefits

Manulife’s employee benefits have continued to evolve and drive market change since 2017 when the company introduced a $10,000 mental health practitioner benefit for its Canadian employees and their dependents.

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Since then, Manulife has removed financial barriers for employees in the U.S. to access mental health support by covering out-of-pocket costs for behavioural health and substance addiction. The company has added expanded virtual mental health services through Beacon in Canada, and Talkspace and Sanvello Virtual Care in the U.S.

Further, online healthcare is accessible 24/7 through Akira Health in Canada.

Gender affirmation coverage

Canadian and U.S. employees and their dependents now have access to fully covered gender affirmation coverage.

This includes coverage for surgical procedures such as Adam’s apple reductions, cheek augmentation or breast augmentation, as well as non-surgical treatments such as voice training for transgender care.

“As the needs of our employees evolve, the benefits we offer have to as well. Families take many forms, such as single parents, same-sex couples, and transitioning transgender family members. And we look to support these different journeys,” said Kimmet.

In Canada, Manulife also now offers new medical marijuana coverage for help with specific health needs.