Every Company Should Take Note of Microsoft’s Paternity Leave Policy

“How can fathers not be given the time and opportunity to spend the first couple months of their children's life with their children and partners?”
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profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
January 7, 2019
microsoft offers paternity leave plus gift box for either new parent
Image: Christine Harris

Corporate America, take note.

It’s no secret parental leave policies in the US are seriously lacking. It’s hard enough for mothers to be granted the necessary amount of time to step into their new role, let alone a fair paternity leave for new dads. Which is why Avi Shalom Ardon, who recently became a father to a new baby girl, paused for a moment during his paternity leave to throw a little love to Microsoft on his LinkedIn account.

“After six weeks out of the 12 weeks of paternity leave that Microsoft allows and encourages its employees to take, six weeks in which I have had the privilege to bond with my newborn baby girl and figure out what it takes to be a good parent, I already can’t imagine how it can be done otherwise,” he says. “How can fathers not be given the time and opportunity to spend the first couple months of their children’s life with their children and partners?"

Ardon’s question may seem like a no-brainer, but his 12 weeks to bond with his new baby probably seem like a luxury to others in his shoes. And, to add the cherry on top, the dad had a pleasant surprise after recently receiving Microsoft’s Welcome Baby Box filled with parenting essentials and a sweet letter addressed to his newborn daughter.

“While you’ve been busy getting ready for the world, we’ve been doing our part to get the world ready for you. You represent the most important thing we’ve all been working towards—the future,” the opening lines of the letter read.

Before it concludes its message, the company adds in a few sentences encouraging the parents to familiarize themselves with all of the benefits Microsoft offers to employees and their families. That means Back-Up Care, subsidized child care, new mother’s rooms and other family resources, just to name a few.

“As trivial and elementary as this paternity leave may seem to me now, I do not take this privilege for granted,” Ardon says. “I know I work for a truly exceptional company and I am very grateful for that.”

And if you think Ardon has a pretty sweet deal with his paternity leave, you should read up on Netflix’s parental policy. The popular video streaming giant allows parents to take as much paid time off as they want, at their normal pay, for up to a year.

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