Netflix Announces One Year Paid Leave for New Parents

Netflix is looking to draw in the best and the brightest in the tech world with policy changes that will make their employees the envy of corporate workers everywhere.

Netflix has announced they will give one-year paid leave to new parents under their employ. Whether mother or father, employees who’ve just had a kid can take up to a year off, and receive their normal wage during that first year after a child’s birth or adoption.

The company states that its maternity and paternity policies will also allow parents to return part-time or full-time, as they can choose to return to Netflix and then go back on leave as needed. This policy is in place to keep employees from leaving the company to find a more generous employer, which makes sense considering how little paid leave employees get in companies outside of the tech world. If yours isn’t a job that can be done from home, then you’re mostly out of luck. Hell, you might get two months, maybe three, which can make the whole process of having a child and getting acclimated to parenthood all the more difficult. This isn’t to say parents should be given unlimited time off, but there’s something to be said for allowing a new parent to be a new parent first, and an employee second. And this seems to be Netflix’s idea with the new policy. As Netflix puts it, their success as a company “hinges on us competing for and keeping the most talented individuals in their field.” Of course, keeping its employees happy seems to be a top priority for the company, even if it means allowing them to cut back on work time significantly: Netflix already offers unlimited vacation time to its employees, as the company states its goals are to give their workers “the freedom to make their own decisions.”

Netflix Announces Yearlong Paid Leave for New Parents

Credit: AFP (left), Lóránd Gelner/Vetta (right)

“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,” said Tawni Cranz, Netflix’s chief talent officer.

This obliterates the policies of other tech firms: According to Fox Business, Twitter offers 20 weeks paid maternity leave and 10 weeks paid paternity leave, while Google upped its policy to 18 weeks paid leave in 2007, from the original 12 weeks. Facebook, meanwhile, offers roughly the same amount of paid leave, as theirs averages out to four months, or roughly 17 and a half weeks. Lastly, Microsoft restructured their parental leave, with all new parents getting 12 weeks paid leave, while birth mothers get eight paid weeks of maternity disability leave. In short, while each of these companies offer more paid leave than your average company, none of them compare to Netflix. And who knows? Maybe the positive press the company is getting will change the way paid leave is structured across the corporate world. This could be a great thing for the future of new parents everywhere, not just those who work for Netflix.

But what do you think of Netflix’s paid leave approach? Sound off in the comments!

And for more on Netflix, check out the list of what shows and movies are arriving and leaving in August!

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