VHFA unveils new paid parental leave policy

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is proud to announce that it will expand its parental leave policy to offer six weeks of fully paid parental leave for its employees, effective immediately.

“When I became Director this was one of the first moves I wanted to make at the Agency,” VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins remarked. “I believe this benefit truly shows our values of honoring our staff as whole people.  Speaking for myself personally, I want my time away from my children to be worthy of my absence, and working for this mission-rich organization does that for me. That said, having time to be home and be present with a new child is irreplaceable and VHFA wants to help more new parents have that ability.”

Paid parental leave has been demonstrated to have many important benefits, including better short and long-term health outcomes for children and parents, and increased retention of women in the workforce. 

“Until state and federal governments can work through the complicated realities of paid family leave, employers like VHFA are leading the way,” explained Steve Gronlund, VHFA’s Director of Human Resources and Administration. “Although for many years the Agency offered partially paid maternity leave and adoption benefits for up to 30 days, the new policy allows provides six weeks of completely paid leave, and extends this to fathers as well,” Gronlund continued.

VHFA staff member Mia Watson said, “As someone who would like to become a parent in the future, I’m excited that I will be able to take time off without worrying about the financial stress for my family. I’m really happy that VHFA is making it easier to balance being a parent and having a career.”

Paid parental leave benefits employers as well as employees. Businesses that offer paid leave increase employee retention, which avoids the significant costs of hiring and training workers, as well as boosting productivity and workplace morale.

VHFA’s paid parental leave policy is one of the many staff benefits that have led to the Agency being named one of the top five Best Places to Work by Vermont Business Magazine for multiple years. Other notable benefits include VHFA’s recent car-sharing membership initiative, educational assistance, an Employee Volunteer Program and generous health care coverage.