First Data's joining the trend of financial companies that are emphasizing family leave benefits heading into the new year, announcing new policies for caregivers.

Starting in January, the Atlanta-based payment processor will offer 12 weeks of paid leave for primary caregivers and two weeks of paid leave for secondary caregivers. The leave can be taken in connection with the birth of an employee's child—through natural birth or surrogacy—or in the case of adoption or foster placement.

The initiative is gender agnostic and will serve as a global baseline. Employees must have worked at First Data for at least one year to become eligible. In making the announcement, First Data cited stats from the Society for Human Resource management stating that 21% of U.S. companies make some type of paid leave available, with 17% offering paid paternity and/or adoption leave.

"We believe that cultivating an environment where everyone can thrive professionally without sacrificing essential family obligations ultimately creates a more productive, long-serving and loyal workforce," said Anthony S. Marino, executive vice president and head of human resources for First Data, in a press release.

Other companies have also announced new leave policies, including American Express, which just announced a new policy that offers up to 20 weeks of paid leave; and Bank of America, which earlier this year expanded its leave policy to 16 weeks from 12.

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