Unlimited paid parental leave is the new unlimited vacation days. At least, if you work at Netflix.
Yesterday the video streaming service announced a milestone initiative: immediate plans to expand maternity and paternity leave. The new policy allows parents to take as much paid time off as they want—at their normal pay—for up to a year.
While tech companies have always offered fun office perks, flexible schedules, lengthy maternity leave policies and fertility treatment subsidies, Netflix’s new policy really stands out for including something for everyone:
- Unlimited leave for both moms and dads
- Equal benefits for birth and adoptive parents
- Option to return part-time or full-time, with flexibility
“We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances,” wrote Tawni Cranx, chief talent officer at Netflix, on the company’s website. "Each employee gets to figure out what’s best for them and their family."
Netflix's paid leave policy is now one of the most generous, but most other large tech companies offer policies that exceed the 12-week national standard.
Google offers 18 weeks of paid maternal leave, with an additional 7 to 12 weeks for "baby bonding" time, which also extends to surrogate caregivers. Facebook offers four months paid leave and a $4,000 credit for each new child, and Twitter stands out with 20 weeks of paid maternity leave and 10 weeks of paid paternity leave. Many also offer subsidized day care programs as well.
And although Virgin Group's Richard Branson recently made headlines for offering a year of full paid leave, it only applies to employees in Europe and requires them to be with the company for four years prior to gain eligibility. Netflix says their policy is open to all employees, in the name of achieving greater company success.
"Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home," said Cranx. "This new policy, combined with our unlimited time off, allows employees to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated."
We couldn't agree more.