Supporting Employees with New Paid Leave for Military Spouses or Domestic Partners

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As a military spouse working full-time, I balance my career and personal life amidst the unique challenges of being part of a military family.

Did you know that there are over 700,000 active-duty military spouses? These spouses play an indispensable role in supporting their active-duty partners serving in the military, facing unique challenges ranging from frequent relocations to extended periods of separation during deployments.

Schneider Electric US is proud to announce a new benefit of up to 80 hours of paid leave for employees who are the spouse or domestic partner of a member of the US uniformed services. Military spouses exhibit flexibility and strength as they balance their careers and families amidst the demands of military life, and this initiative aims to support their needs.

My Experience

I started my career with Schneider Electric over a decade ago. I worked in an office for a few years, and then in 2014 I became a fully remote employee at a time when remote work wasn’t yet the norm. This enabled me to be able to take my career to every new duty station.

In 2018, a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move brought my family to Oahu, Hawaii. Shortly afterward, I faced the daunting task of solo parenting my two young sons (aged 3 and 9 months) due to my husband’s military training schedule. To further complicate matters, I was 12 weeks pregnant at the time and required urgent surgery to ensure my pregnancy’s viability. Amidst these challenges, I also managed work demands and the care of my two boys, one of whom was still waitlisted at several daycares.

Company Support

Thanks to Schneider Electric’s unwavering commitment to its employees, I was able to tap into the available resources. Using, I meticulously screened and hired a nanny to help during this critical period. Working remotely afforded me the flexibility to take necessary time off for my surgery, safeguarding the health and well-being of my unborn child. At the time I received 12 weeks off for family leave – a policy that has since been enhanced to 20 weeks of fully paid leave for a primary parent. I am proud to see the company is taking steps to enhance policies for their people and better balance their work and life.

Military spouses have made many sacrifices to be with their partners, and face so many barriers like relocation and parenting alone in a new place. Service members are told where they will be stationed and often these are locations away from the support network of family and friends. Also, military installations are often positioned away from large cities and economically depressed locations. So meaningful employment is hard to find. I’m so grateful to have Schneider Electric. Having a company that supports you throughout this process makes things so much easier, and I’m glad to see Schneider wants to be part of the answer and drive positive change.

Military Spouse Leave

Schneider Electric is committed to being an employer

of choice for the military community. We are proud to introduce a new benefit: Military Spouse Leave. This paid leave of up to 80 hours is designed for our employees who are the spouse or domestic partner of a member of the US uniformed services. This initiative aims to foster inclusivity and better align with the specific needs of our military community.

In addition to enduring deployments, military families often experience frequent Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, necessitating relocation to a new duty station. These moves can be inherently stressful, requiring spouses to manage logistics such as finding a new home, arranging childcare, and ensuring a smooth transition for all family members. For employed spouses, navigating a PCS adds complexity, raising questions about the availability of Paid Time Off (PTO), accumulated leave, and the potential need for unpaid time off, which can create financial strain on the family.

The provision of paid time off during PCS moves would alleviate some of the financial burdens, enabling military spouses to focus more on the well-being of their families. Deployments constitute another significant aspect of military life, wherein spouses often shoulder the responsibility of maintaining the household and caring for children alone. The emotional strain of separation, combined with the demands of daily life, can be overwhelming. Offering paid time off during deployments would provide military spouses with the necessary flexibility to manage their responsibilities and safeguard their mental health.

Why This Is Important

Schneider Electric currently supports our Guard and Reserve Force service members with Military Leave of 160 hours of paid time off. In the spirit of equity and inclusion, the company recognized that policies needed to change to better support the spouses of those service members who work at SE who also happen to be 92% women.

Military spouses face a significant challenge gaining and maintaining careers due to frequent deployments and moves.  Because of this lifestyle Military spouses face a greater than 20% unemployment rate and this places a level of financial hardship on those families.

“In essence, we view this as a valuable proposition for Schneider Electric. We are actively promoting the reintegration of highly educated, dedicated Americans into the workforce. By offering this type of leave, we aim to reassure individuals that they can continue working if they choose to do so, effectively navigating the path of sustained employment,” states Peter Shull, Military & Veteran Affairs Leader.

In our efforts to support colleagues serving in the National Guard and Reserves, we also seek to extend our support to our active-duty personnel. This initiative not only presents financial advantages for military families but also ensures that Schneider Electric upholds its commitment to fostering a culture of inclusivity and equity. This endeavor is firmly rooted in the principles of fairness and integration.

The Veterans Employee Resource Network at SE has played a pivotal role in advocating for these changes. Comprising dedicated veterans, military spouses, and active Guard and Reserve members, the Schneider Electric veterans group operates on a voluntary basis. We also welcome anyone interested in contributing to the betterment of this community.

External Recognition

Schneider Electric’s focus on military and veteran affairs has made positive impacts within the community, earning outside accreditation. The prestigious Military Friendly® organization recognized our strides by elevating our status from Bronze to Silver in 2024. This beaming endorsement of our enduring commitment over the last four years, company-wide inclusivity culture, and the priority we place on our people further fuels Schneider Electric’s goals and ambitions in this space.

Military Friendly® Companies are considered to be the ultimate example of organizations that are committed to enabling sustainable economic benefits and well-being for Veterans and their families. Over 1,700 organizations compete annually for Military Friendly® designations.

Schneider Electric has also been awarded the Military Friendly® Spouse Employer for our efforts in creating sustainable and meaningful career paths for veterans, as well as for our community outreach, brand enthusiasm, and enduring partnerships in support of the military community and all of the important parts of that community: the employee, the spouse, the family, the consumer, and even the supply chain.

Additionally, Schneider Electric is proud to be part of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) Class of 2023. MSEP is a Department of Defense (DoD) led initiative that connects military spouses with hundreds of partner employers who have committed to recruit, hire, promote, and retain military spouses.

The Future

A military-friendly environment should extend support not only to active-duty members and veterans but also to their spouses. Despite having accumulated a good amount of PTO over my 11 years with the SE organization, recognizing that not every military spouse has this luxury is crucial. The SE culture, which prioritizes the well-being of its employees, including military spouses, stands out as a positive example.

In the decade that I’ve worked at Schneider, I’m proud of the enhancements and support I’ve received, and will continue to advocate for change.

Together, we are not just imagining the future, we are meticulously crafting it with the invaluable contributions of our veterans leading the charge.

Come work with us!

Are you interested in a career at Schneider Electric? Check out our careers website for more information and for available positions. Take your career journey to the next level!

About the author

Author Profile

Nina S. Russell, Ed.D

Nina joined Schneider Electric in November 2012 as a Service Planner for Secure Power. She now works as a Project Manager for the Power Services operations. Nina’s passion lies in educating, empowering, and coaching individuals to unlock their full potential,  all while nurturing inclusive environments and a profound sense of belonging within the workplace. She’s a staunch advocate for mental health and extends unwavering support to the military spouses and veteran community.

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