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Proudly supporting parents when it matters most

Christina Kuhl and her husband Matt are the new parents to twins, Max and Sloan, who were born on Aug. 3. Photo credit: Brandy Stoesz Photography

Effective Jan. 1, ConocoPhillips will provide two weeks of paid leave for all parents. This change also extends to birth mothers who already receive maternity leave, allowing them to now have up to 10 weeks of 100 percent paid leave.  

"As a parent, I know it’s important to take time to focus on your family,” said Ryan Lance, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our employees’ hard work and dedication extend well beyond the office. I’m proud to offer benefits that support all of our new parents.”


"Employees want to be productive members at work and have a family."

— CHRISTINA KUHL

It’s a policy move heralded by ConocoPhillips employees Christina Kuhl, a mother of twins, and Ben Palmer, a father of three boys. 

photo of twin babies

The Kuhls are adjusting to life with twins. 

"This is a progressive step,” said Kuhl, a senior business communications advisor and mom of 2-month-old twins. “Work-life balance is a top priority for parents. Employees want to be productive members at work and have a family. This new policy provides the extra support that dual-career families and working mothers have been seeking.”

The change, which enhances ConocoPhillips’ existing benefits package, aligns with the company’s SPIRIT Values and today’s complex family dynamics, Kuhl said.

“Raising children is not just a woman’s responsibility,” she said. “Dads and partners want to be more involved. Parenting is hard work. You can’t do it by yourself. You need your partner.”

Ben Palmer, an HSE supervisor for the Gulf Coast business unit, said the new two-week paid parental leave policy is a welcome addition to the company’s benefits package.


"Every time you have a child, the dynamics in your family change."

BEN PALMER


"This is fantastic,” said Palmer, whose sons are 7, 5 and 2. “As a parent, you need time to adapt to a new family member. This sets a new standard at ConocoPhillips. We’ve always recognized the impact that having a new baby has on the mother. But it’s a significant impact on all parents. With a new baby, or even if you’re adopting a child, you’ve got a lot of things to think about."

Ben Palmer with his three sons, Alec, Seth and Noah, at the Custer National Forest near Red Lodge, Montana.

“No parent should feel forced to choose between work and family. That’s not a fair choice,” said Ellen DeSanctis, vice president of Investor Relations and Communications and the company’s Parents Network executive sponsor. “Parenting is hard. Working is hard. These are two hard jobs. To attract and retain top talent, we have to be able to help our employees do these hard jobs well.”

Caring for a new child is stressful, Palmer said, and parents must go through an adjustment period, no matter if it’s their first child or their third.


"Parenting is hard. Working is hard. These are two hard jobs. To attract and retain top talent, we have to be able to help our employees do these hard jobs well."

— ELLEN DESANCTIS

“Every time you have a child,” he said, “the dynamics in your family change. You need to be home and support your spouse. There are a lot of things that go into bringing another person into the family. So, having time to adapt is a big help.”

In addition, Palmer said, the policy change will allow parents to be more focused and have more energy when they return to work.