Netflix Announces Extended Parental Leave, Microsoft Follows

Juggling motherhood and career is easier now for tech professionals. Netflix, the American on-demand video streaming company, announced a new policy of unlimited maternity and paternity leave for the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.

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“We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances”, Netflix’s chief talent officer Tawni Cranz said in a statement on the company’s blog. “Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed. We’ll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay. Each employee gets to figure out what’s best for them and their family, and then works with their managers for coverage during their absences.”

To ensure that the employees work at their ease and figure out a work-life balance that works for them, Netflix already offers unlimited time off to its entire staff, and has now explicitly come out with a maternity and paternity leave policy.

In comparison to companies that offer limited maternity and no paid paternity leave at all, Netflix’s new policy seems like a long-due step towards promising employee satisfaction at workplace.

Microsoft, too

A day after Netflix’s announcement, Microsoft came out with a new maternity and paternity leave policy . November onwards the company would offer 12 weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave along with 8 additional weeks of maternal disability.

“When I look at how rapidly the traditional workplace is changing, not just at Microsoft, but throughout business in general, I see a tremendous opportunity for companies to put a stake in the ground around what they believe in and what kind of culture they want to build together with employees,” Microsoft vice president for human resources Kathleen Hogan said.

“As we ask our employees to bring their ‘A’ game to work every day to achieve our mission, we believe it’s our responsibility to create an environment where people can do their best work. A key component of this is supporting our employees with benefits that matter most to them.”

Changing maternity and paternity leave policy in India

Things are changing in India as well. A pregnancy is no more a death knell of women’s career. Companies are now revamping the maternity leave policy to ensure female workers can come back to their jobs after settling down in the new life as a parent.

Flipkart – The e-commerce giant recently announced 6 months of paid maternity leave for their female employees, along with an option to take year long break before they decide to come back to work. But that’s not all. “The company will increase the paternity leave to 10 days either before the child is born or within six months after the child is born, the spokesperson said. Besides, the male employees will have flexibility to work for four hours at office and the rest from home for the first three months before or after the child’s birth.”, a spokesperson said.

SAP Labs India – The tech organization offers 20 weeks of paid maternity leave along with an additional 16 weeks of unpaid leave. They also offer two months of pickup and drop facility, raised maternity insurance, reserved seats in office shuttles and option to work from home.

Accenture – Accenture offers 22 weeks of paid leave, plus an option for 12 weeks of unpaid leave, to retain female employees post pregnancy. They also offer separate maternity room facilities, maternity counseling calls, maternity returners’ programmers and employee assistance programme.


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