Employees have long been clamoring for more generous paternity leave, and both Netflix and Microsoft have recently heeded that call. Will this trend trickle down to companies like yours?
Netflix, the video streaming and delivery service provider, made news recently when it announced it would offer an unlimited amount of paid time off for its employees when they become new parents. The policy applies to both new mothers and new fathers.
Chief Talent Officer Tawni Cranz explained the impetus for the policy in a blog post by stating:
“Netflix’s continued success hinges on us competing for and keeping the most talented individuals in their field. Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home.”
Soon after Netflix’s announcement, tech giant Microsoft announced it will also expand its parental leave offerings, albeit not in an unlimited way.
Microsoft’s new leave policy extends paid parental leave to 12 weeks for new mothers and fathers, while mothers can also get an additional eight weeks of paid leave.
Under Microsoft’s previous leave policy, mothers were entitled to 12 weeks of paid and eight weeks of unpaid leave, and fathers could take up to four weeks of paid time off and eight weeks of unpaid leave.
Netflix and Microsoft join the ranks of other major corporations that offer leave policies that greatly exceed the standard amount, such as:
- Facebook (four months of paid leave for both mothers and fathers)
- Google (18 weeks), and
- Apple (mothers get a total of 18 weeks — four weeks before birth and 14 weeks after — and fathers get six weeks).
89% factor leave into job decisions
While average companies probably can’t afford to offer such generous paternity leave, the call for increased leave time is growing — particularly among new dads.
In fact, a recent study of working fathers by the Boston College Center for Work & Family found that:
- 89% said they took paid paternity leave (PPL) into consideration when deciding whether or not to take a job.
- Of those, 60% rated access to paid paternity leave as very/extremely important.
- 99% said employers should offer paid paternity leave, with 74% suggesting that two to four weeks is an appropriate amount.
- Three-quarters of fathers said they’d prefer PPL time flexibility so they wouldn’t have to use it all right after the baby was born; most see it as part of the life-work balance they seek when selecting an employer.