Microsoft has already “responded” to Netflix’s new policy by announcing a policy change of its own which includes enhanced paid leave for new parents.
It can be remembered that Netflix also changed their parental leave policy by giving their employees a year of full paid parental leave within the child’s first year of birth or adoption.
Only its elite talent gets the perk, taking the onus off the nation to create policy that supports all families.
Last month the U.S. Navy tripled the paid time off offered to new mothers in the Navy or Marine Corps, from six weeks to 18 weeks.
Vodafone, a global telecommunication company, provides up to 16-weeks of paid maternity leave. On top of that, pregnant employees are also given two weeks leave before her due date.
It’s not completely fair to blame corporations for sounding corporate.
Other companies, particularly in the tech field, also offer parental leave benefits that exceed the requirements of federal or state law.
While “unlimited” parental leave will most likely continue to be an outlier, employers interested in attracting and retaining top talent-especially millennials, who are more focused on achieving a work/life balance-will need to rethink their parental leave benefits to remain competitive. “These companies can afford to do this”. On the “21 Employee Perks that Attract the Best Talent” list, it’s even listed between “free on-site spa service” and “drink fridge”. That’s why Netflix employees who work in the DVD division or in customer service have been left out-the new policy only applies to the highly-sought after employees in Netflix’s streaming division.
The resulting message is clear, and pretty harsh: If you were ambitious, brainy and hard-working enough to gain entry into a company that gives its employees “special perks”, you’re entitled to greater job stability and family security. New moms can take a total of 20 weeks of fully paid leave and fathers can take 12 weeks of paid leave.
Even within Netflix, talent and economic potential are determining factors between employees who receive unlimited leave and those who do not. Silicon Valley businesses tend to have the most progressive benefits, though some still favor mothers over fathers.
If Netflix’s policy is to be truly revolutionary, it won’t be because it bestows a premium perk upon a select few, but rather because it illuminates why a nationwide parental leave policy is needed – and deserved – by so many more.
In comparison, Estonia’s government mandated leave benefits, which are the most generous, permits new parents to take up to 180 weeks of job-protected leave, with 108 weeks of paid leave.