It depends on your industry.
The parental leave bandwagon is gathering steam — at least among one group of employers.
Just before Thanksgiving, Facebook’s head of human resources announced (on Facebook, of course) that the social media behemoth will extend the company’s four-month paid parental leave plan to all employees worldwide. This came on the heels of Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s post (more than 300,000 “likes”) in which he wrote that he’d take two months of leave after the birth of his daughter.
Facebook’s move follows similar announcements by other multinational corporations, mainly in the tech sector. Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft, Spotify, and Adobe have all unveiled more generous parental leave policies in recent months, in moves seen partly as a recruiting ploy and PR offensive. Non-tech giants like Johnson & Johnson and Credit Suisse have joined the movement as well.
Indeed, the backlash that followed Netflix’s announcement of a two-tier policy is itself an indication of change, says Kenneth Matos, senior director of research at the Families and Work Institute. “The fact that they got a bite means there’s more of a sense that these sorts of benefits are a baseline that should be enjoyed by all employees, as opposed to a high-level perk,” he says.
Matos also speculates that the Netflix policy blowback may have launched further change. “Amazon saw the negative press from Netflix’s announcement, and made it clear to everyone that its policy includes everyone,” he says. And Amazon and Netflix could in turn influence other companies, he says.
“These companies are the early adopters showing that it can be done,” says Matos. “This gives other companies the incentive to experiment with their own ways of getting it done.”
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