Richard Branson is taking a stand for new dads.
Virgin Management, the investment and brand licensing arm of his Virgin Group empire, announced a new policy allowing some female and male employees to take up to a year of paid parental leave.
“If you take care of your employees they will take care of your business,” Branson said in a statement. “As a father and now a granddad to three wonderful grandchildren, I know how magical the first year of a child’s life is but also how much hard work it takes.”
As with the unlimited vacation policy Virgin Group unveiled last September, the new paternity offer is limited. Only employees who have worked at the company for four years can receive their entire annual salary for the time off, and only those who work for Virgin Management are eligible. The Independent writes that only about 140 workers based in London and Geneva can take advantage of the policy.
A representative for Virgin Management was not immediately available to comment.
Just 14 percent of U.S. employers offer paid paternity leave, according to a 2014 study by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute. Some tech companies, such as Reddit and Facebook, offer a generous 17 weeks of paternity leave; Yahoo grants new fathers eight weeks off — half the time offered to a female employee. Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs doubled its paternity leave to four weeks.
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