LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Yum! Brands steps up its maternity leave for moms and dads.

The company announced Monday that birth mothers will get 18 weeks of fully paid time away from work. Six weeks of fully paid "baby bonding time" will be given to fathers, partners, adoptive and foster parents. The policy change takes effect immediately.

The policy is for Yum!, KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell corporate employees at the company's U.S. Headquarters. That will affect the approximately 2,000 employees at headquarters in Louisville, Plano and Irvine and for a few hundred restaurant leaders.

A spokesperson says Yum! restaurants are largely franchises, which make decisions about the benefits they offer to their employees. Yum! Brands is based in Louisville and has over 43,000 KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants in more than 135 countries.

The company is also offering corporate employees half-days on Friday. They will also receive a minimum of four weeks paid vacation, plus two additional bonus weeks in an employee's 10th, 20th or 30th year of service.

The company also offers financial support for adoption services, infertility treatments, autism support services and daycare facilities. Those particular perks are not new; certain Yum! employees were already eligible for those financial services.

Yum! says the expanded parental time-off policy is part of the company's ongoing commitment to its people-first culture and investment in its employees.

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