At Netflix, Both Moms and Dads Get a Full Year of Parental Leave

paid parental leave
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We didn’t think Netflix offered anything cooler than the chance to binge-watch Orange is the New Black or Gilmore Girls. We were wrong.

Netflix just stepped up their game with an unprecedented move to support all employees with one year of family leave.

The new policy allows new moms and dads “to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption,” writes the company’s Chief Talent Officer, Tawni Cranz, on its blog. The employees can choose if they want to return part time or full time, or come back and then take additional time off later that year.

Even cooler, Netflix will keep paying new parents as usual — they don’t have to deal with the hassle of switching to state or disability pay. That means no forms, no applications and no extra headaches during a time when new parents just want to spend time at home with their families.

Why Did Netflix Launch This Policy?

Remember, U.S. companies aren’t required to give paid parental leave. So why do it?

Aside from the nice press boost and a lot of talk about a work culture that emphasizes “freedom and responsibility,” Cranz explains:

Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home. 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.

It’s also likely to help them retain employees who might otherwise jump ship to companies with more flexible policies.

How Does Netflix Stack Up?

Facebook gives both parents “four months paid leave, plus $4,000 in ‘baby cash,’ while at Google Inc. it’s up to 18 weeks,” according to Bloomberg.

Microsoft just extended their paid leave to 12 weeks, and Adobe announced new moms will get 26 weeks of paid time off, while “primary caregivers and new parents will get 16 weeks,” reports Reuters.

As tech companies compete for talent with major perks and referral bonuses, Netflix’s announcement is sure to give them a head start in the recruiting race.

But this is also a huge move in the right direction, period. The United States notoriously offers one of the world’s worst parental leave policies, as the only developed nation without mandated paid maternity leave. Let’s hope other companies start to follow Netflix’s lead.

Eager to work for Netflix? Check out their job openings.

Your Turn: What do you think of these new announcements? Do they make you want to work for Netflix or another one of these companies?

Marian Schembari is a writer and blogger based in Düsseldorf, Germany by way of San Francisco. She writes about travel and creativity and spends way too much time on the internet.

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