San Francisco: Microsoft says it will offer more paid leave to new parents and increase other benefits for US employees, a day after Netflix announced generous new-parent benefits for its workers.
Under the new policy, paid parental leave will be extended to 12 weeks for new mothers and fathers, while mothers will receive an additional eight weeks off, also paid in full.
This year President Barack Obama ordered federal agencies to offer their employees six weeks of paid parental leave.
The policy will apply to the first year that a child is born or adopted.
“Netflix’s continued success hinges on us competing for and keeping the most talented individuals in their field”, Tawni Cranz, the company’s chief talent officer, wrote in a blog post. Some have argued that a policy allowing employees as much time off as they want actually reduces the amount of time they wind up taking, because it makes workers feel guilty about staying away from the office. Pay at Netflix ranges from about US$15 per hour for customer service representatives fielding inquiries from the company’s more than 65 million subscribers around the world to more than US$200,000 annually for software engineers. Outside that, California, New Jersey and Rhode Island use a program funded by payroll taxes to provide some paid family and medical leave, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Employees will be allowed to return and leave again if necessary and continue to earn their normal pay throughout. “What are the companies going to do when their employees start having babies”, Massaro said. “For those that want to implement what people call unlimited or untracked leave, the issue would really be looking at what your employee population is like”, Pamela Salgado, a shareholder at Littler Mendelson, told CorpCounsel.com.
Not only that, but employees who need time off to take care of their families will be paid as they would be if they were in-office. Compared to other developed countries, the United States lags behind in benefits it offers expecting parents. She said it would not be a significant cost for other employers to add several more weeks to their current paid leave.