General Mills Expands US Benefits Plan to Support Employees at All Life Stages

Changes include rollout of 18-20 weeks paid maternal leave, 12 weeks paid parental leave and two weeks caregiver leave.

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 29, 2018 (PRNewswire) — General Mills on Wednesday announced a significant expansion of its existing U.S. employee benefits, including an industry-leading leave policy for new parents. The company is modernizing benefits to better align with the needs of an ever-evolving workforce.

"We spent a lot of time talking with employees at different life stages and asking questions about their pain points and what contributes to feeling torn between work and home," said Jacqueline Williams-Roll, chief human resources officer, General Mills. "Out of those discussions, we developed a strategy to focus on these moments when employees really need support the most."

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, General Mills is increasing fully paid time off for new birth mothers to 18-20 weeks, and parental leave (for fathers, partners and adoptive parents) to 12 weeks.

"General Mills has been making food people love for over 150 years, and our employees have always been our secret ingredient. We want to keep innovating in how we meet their evolving needs," said Williams-Roll.

To help the needs of employees at all life stages, General Mills is also introducing or improving caregiver leave, bereavement and short-term disability benefits.

  • Caregiver Leave: A new benefit in 2019, General Mills will now offer caregivers a two-week paid leave for the care of immediate family members with a serious health condition.
  • Bereavement: An expansion of the previous plan, up to four weeks off for employees following the death of an immediate family member.
  • Short-term Disability: An expansion of the previous plan, employees will receive 100 percent paid time for up to eight weeks and 65 percent of pay for up to 26 weeks.

These new benefits apply to both salaried and non-union production workers in the U.S. and are intended to help all General Mills employees live happier, healthier lives both at work and at home. They build upon existing programs at General Mills that will continue to support employee needs, such as vacation, holidays, unpaid leaves, sabbaticals and paid military leaves. This includes flexibility for salaried employees — like working from home while a pet recovers from surgery, helping get kids to those inconvenient middle-of-the-day appointments or phasing back to work after a leave.

About General Mills 

General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food people love. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie's, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, Blue Buffalo and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2018 consolidated net sales of US $15.7 billion, as well as another US $1.1 billion from its proportionate share of joint-venture net sales.