The United States’ policy on maternity and paternity leave is stuck in the Stone Ages, compared to the rest of the civilized world. One of three remaining countries that does not guarantee paid maternity leave to women, the United States is in need of some serious policy revamping. This process is happening slowly throughout the country with technology giants blazing the trail for the remainder of US companies to implement these benefits. With companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook offering reasonable maternity and paternity leave, companies such as Netflix have decided to follow their example.
On August 4, Netflix announced that new parents would be able to take “unlimited” leave. The company stated that it would be offering mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents the ability to work part-time, full-time, or be able to come and go as much as they needed during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption. During this year, Netflix has agreed to continue the normal pay of its employees, requiring the employees to simply set up accommodations with their manager for their work while they are away.
These technology companies have the right idea when it comes to maternity and paternity policies. With the addition of this policy, Netflix employees can return after their leave without being preoccupied with home life, resulting in more productivity. Ultimately, this new policy means Netflix will be able to keep more of its accomplished employees by providing new parents the flexibility they need, which will make it more appealing for them to remain in the work force after having a child.
Clearly, this new wave of parental leave policies is catching on, and it seems to be beneficial for both employer and employee. The question is: When will the rest of the United States follow suit?