Netflix Expands Its Parental Leave Policy

Courtesy of Netflix.
Netflix announced on Tuesday a very progressive new benefit: All employees are now eligible for up to one year of paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child.

"We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances," Tawni Cranz, Netflix’s chief talent officer, wrote in the post. "Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed."

This policy is one of the most generous in the United States, one of the few countries that does not mandate paid family leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, men and women who work full-time are guaranteed 12 weeks of unpaid leave. According to the Department of Labor, only 12% of U.S. workers have access to paid parental leave. California (where Netflix is based), New Jersey, and Rhode Island are the only states that offer paid-leave policies.

In recent years, there's been a push for more and more businesses to expand their parental leave policies. Facebook offers 14 weeks; Google offers 18. Richard Branson made headlines this summer when he announced expanded parental leave at Virgin Management, though the new policy only applies to the 140 employees in the London and Geneva offices who have worked for the company for at least four years.

There are some who argue that one year is too long, and that women who take the full leave risk being put on the "mommy track." But, since Netflix's policy includes paid time off for both women and men, it will be interesting to see how these extended absences affect the careers of new parents.

The New York Times noted that Netflix stock rose to a new high after the announcement. Proof that parental leave is in fact good for the bottom line? One thing is certain: With a year off, the new mothers at Netflix are less likely to be sharing breast-pumping-at-work horror stories.
Advertisement

More from Work & Money

So you're at a networking event and you have no idea what to say to the person you've just met. Do you ask about their job, even though it sounds boring? ...
Update: Greathouse has just relented on his Twitter feed, calling the original blog post "dreadful" and apologizing that he "told women to endure the ...
I get so nervous before job interviews — sweaty palms, dry mouth, butterflies in my stomach. It’s really not fun. But once I’m sitting down with the ...
Refinery29 joined the Clinton Foundation for a tour of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to get a firsthand look at the experiences of the women and girls who live ...
So, you've graduated from college, updated your LinkedIn, and have been hitting up your network like crazy. You had an amazing first interview, you ...
If the new phrase for the office BFF is the "work wife," then is a good boss or mentor your "work mom" or "work dad"? Part authority figure, part dispenser...
The morning at my insurance firm was hectic. My first appointment after lunch was a balding man in his mid-50s. I smiled at him warmly and attempted ...
You know what's easy? Spending money. It's the best way to get what you want right now. Except...this is not sustainable. Those little luxuries add up ...
9:30 p.m. — HANGRY. Get home and eat canned soup and watch Netflix before bed
Any recent grads freaking out about their job prospects need not fear: Apparently the demand for exorcists has never been higher. The Telegraph reports ...
9:45 a.m. — Starbucks reward, bitches! OBV I get the most expensive thing that I can concoct. A Venti 5 shot soy latte. Yum
Four years ago, my life was exactly where I wanted it: I was working as a senior editor at a major glossy magazine. My first young adult novel had just ...
After months of waiting and countless discussions about what the future holds for our favorite television characters, Shondaland shows are finally back. ...
Just after my son’s first birthday, I was on the phone with my mom, grappling over a gut-wrenching decision. I was scheduled to go on a business trip but...