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SALT LAKE CITY — Women employed by the LDS Church may now wear pantsuits or slacks to work, men may remove suit jackets in hot weather and parental leave is available to all.

Women employed full time with benefits who give birth will now be eligible for six weeks of paid maternity leave, according to an announcement made Wednesday morning by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Previously, women were eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year under the Family Medical Leave Act. In the past, mothers often had saved up vacation and sick days to pay for maternity leave.

The new LDS Church benefits also include a paid week of paternal leave per year for men and women in full-time, benefited positions to bond with a new child or children after birth or adoption. A mother who gives birth may take this week in addition to maternity leave.

The changes will impact thousands of church employees. The Human Resources Department shared the new benefits and policy refinements in a one-page handout to those working on church’s Temple Square campus.

“Church leadership is constantly reviewing the workplace and its impact on the lives of employees,” the church said in a statement. “The work environment at the church is a reflection of efforts to reinforce the important teaching that the family is central to our eternal destiny. The new leave benefits are part of recruiting and retaining a highly effective and happy workforce.”

To read the full article on the Deseret News, click here