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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (CBS Local)  General Mills has announced the expansion of its parental leave policy for its employees, which includes 18 to 20 weeks of maternity leave.

On Jan. 1, 2019, the company will increase time off for new mothers to up to 20 weeks of maternity leave with 100 percent pay. Parental leave for fathers, partners, and adoptive parents will be increased to 12 weeks of paid time.

“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.”

In addition to parental leave, General Mills is also expanding caregiver leave, bereavement, and short-term disability benefits.

Caregivers will get two-week paid leave for the care of immediate family members with a serious health condition. For bereavement, up to four weeks will be available for employees following the death of an immediate family member. For short-term disability, employees will get 100 percent paid time for up to eight weeks and 65 percent pay for up to 26 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,” Williams-Roll said.

The company says the new benefits will apply to both salaried and non-union production workers in the United States.

General Mills’ current benefits package includes six weeks paid maternity leave and two weeks paid paternal leave.

[H/T CBS Minnesota]