5 amazing employee benefits one Birmingham company offers working parents

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Working parents, employee benefits
Working parents at Protective know the company has their back. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Every working parent knows the daily juggle between work and home responsibilities. Decisions employers make have a huge impact on employees’ quality of life—and that of their families. We talked to Bart Trench, Head of Compensation and Benefits at Protective Life Corporation (Protective), to learn about five unique employee benefits they offer their working parents, including adoption support and breast milk shipping.

“There’s a lot that goes on in people’s lives.”

Bart Trench, Protective, employee benefits
As the parent of 18-year-old twins, Bart Trench knows first-hand how important parental benefits are. (Protective Life Corp)

Back in April, we filled you in on stress management with advice from experts at Protective, and some of the parental benefits the company offered really jumped out at me:

  • Generous paid leave
  • Adoption Assistance
  • Parental education + support
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Schedule flexibility

Like most companies, Protective provides medical and dental insurance, plus other benefits based on government regulation, like the Family Medical Leave Act.

That said, I asked Trench to explain some of the thinking behind offering services like breast milk shipping:

“We want to try to create an environment for our employees that will support their engagement and productivity—there’s a lot that goes on in people’s lives. If we can help them when they’ve got personal things going on, they can focus in and get those things handled for the health and well-being of themselves and their families.

For us, we want to offer benefits that employees find meaningful, within our resources.”

Bart Trench, Head of Compensation and Benefits, Protective

Want to work for a company that invests in working parents? Check out Protective’s career page today.

1. Generous paid leave for all parents is part of Protective’s employee benefits

Trey Hall with his family, employee benefits
Trey Hall with his family in Hoover. (Trey Hall)

Anyone who’s had or adopted a baby knows how important it is to bond with your little one, figure out how to parent them and adjust to a whole new stage of life. All of that takes time, and Protective provides it.

Mothers who give birth can take up to 12 weeks paid leave, with up to 14 weeks paid in the event of a C-section.

All non-birthing mothers and fathers can take six weeks paid leave to bond with their child at any point during the first year. Parents can also use PTO to take more time if they would like.

2. Adoption Assistance

Protective employee Benefits
Kristina and Jonathan Nelson with their son. (Kristina Nelson)

Choosing to adopt a child is a whole different journey into parenting, with its own challenges and joys. Protective provides two unique benefits for adoptive parents: six weeks paid leave and $5000 adoption assistance.

6 weeks paid leave

Kristina Nelson, a senior associate in marketing, had been working at Protective for about five years when she and her husband began the domestic adoption process back in May 2021. By early September, they applied with an agency and were delighted to discover that their son was a possibility. They matched the profile the birth parents were looking for, and by October 5, they were in Tennessee to welcome him to the world.

In addition to the six weeks paid parental leave Protective offered, Nelson had saved up PTO and was able to take a full 12 weeks off, including a couple of unpaid weeks.

“It was incredible to have that time to bond with my son, and we were lucky enough to be there when he was born. It was also really special to be able to take the time to get all the baby stuff we needed because it happened so quickly. But Protective gave us the time and space to be able to bond and start our family.”

Kristina Nelson, a senior associate in marketing

$5000 Adoption Assistance

Nelson and her husband were also deeply grateful for the $5000 in Adoption Assistance they received once the adoption was finalized. In their case, it covered the cost of an adoption consultant who provided much-needed guidance for them throughout the entire complicated process.

“We have been incredibly lucky. And to work for an employer who values growing your family in a number of different ways feels really good.”

Kristina Nelson, a senior associate in marketing

3. Parental education + support

Protective team member
Outside of the office, Sam Basu, a Sr. Director, Beneficiary Center Transformation & Support at Protective, and his family love traveling and the ocean. (Sam Basu)

You’d think parenting would be intuitive, given how many people do it, but the reality is there is so much to learn once a small being is your complete responsibility.

Quarterly “Baby Yourself” class for expecting moms and dads

This is when parents—especially first-timers—learn about all the specific resources the company provides to help them prepare for this big life change.

Partnership with Maven

Maven provides Protective’s parents 24/7 no-cost access to resources such as:

  • Lactation consultants
  • Mental health providers
  • Nurse-practitioners
  • Nutritionists
  • OBGYNs
  • And more

Employee assistance 

Protective provides six sessions of employee assistance per year for each employee and dependent. During pregnancy and until six months following the birth of a child, these sessions are unlimited.

“Children and their parents face diffferent struggles, so it’s important that each has a safe outlet with an experienced ear to talk with them about whatever they’re going through.”

Bart Trench, Head of Compensation and Benefits, Protective

4. Support for breastfeeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life. But working moms often face a lot of challenges to reaching that goal. In addition to the lactation support provided through Maven, Protective also helps remove other barriers to breastfeeding.

Lactation rooms with fridges

These provide a space where moms can pump in private and store breast milk safely before taking it home at the end of the day.

Maven Milk

Then, when nursing moms need or want to travel for work, Maven Milk offers multiple options for both domestic and international shipping that are easy to use, travel-safe and reliable. Talk about peace of mind.

5. Flexibility around parents’ schedules

Jarrod Patterson, Protective employee
Jarrod Patterson with his family in downtown Birmingham. (Jarrod Patterson)

Finally, once parents have gotten past the baby stage, there are school assemblies, choir performances and soccer games to attend. Trench said Protective’s general culture offers a lot of flexibility around all of that.

“Salaried employees are able to adjust when they perform their work hours. Hourly employees may come in early, stay late, or take a half a day PTO from the generous PTO bank. The pandemic has created extra flexibility, with more employees who work from home.”

Bart Trench, Head of Compensation and Benefits, Protective

Does this sound like somewhere you’d like to work? Protective is hiring—check out their career page today.

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Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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