Blog Article

Trends in Parental Leave


Paid parental leave is a major perk that a company can offer to attract talented job candidates. The United States is still one of the few countries that has no national mandate for paid parental leave, which puts the responsibility on companies to offer it as a “benefit.”

When just 14% of workers have access to paid family leave, companies have an opportunity to distinguish themselves as organizations that promote family and work-life balance. Solid parental leave policies are especially attractive to millennial job seekers, who value parental leave more than earlier generations. Great companies looking to hang on to good hires for life and outdo their competition are offering attractive parental leave policies. In practice, these family-friendly policies can take a number of different forms. Below, we’ve noted a few of the most generous policies, and you’ll notice a trend here: they offer the same time off to both mothers and fathers.

  • Netflix offers new parents as much paid leave as they need during the year following a child’s birth or adoption.
  • Etsy provides 26 weeks of paid leave to all new parents, usable within two years of birth or adoption of a new child.
  • Spotify offers six months of paid leave to all new parents, which can be used all at once or for eight weeks a year over three years.

While offering paid parental leave looks good from an employer branding perspective, it also makes good business sense. Studies are beginning to show that offering maternity leave in particular is good for a company’s long-term bottom line. Experts also indicate that new mothers are more likely to succeed back at work if they return to their desks when their children aren’t still newborns. They’ve recovered from childbirth, their babies are sleeping more, and they are better equipped to handle the challenges of working, raising a child, and possibly nursing, too.

There’s also reason to believe that better leave policies keep turnover rates low. High turnover rates cost companies dearly, with at least half to two-thirds of a former employee’s annual salary dedicated to lost productivity and the training of a replacement employee. Modern companies are taking notice, and doing everything they can to keep great employees aboard.

But paid time off isn’t the only perk companies can offer to appeal to family-oriented job seekers. Some other perks include onsite childcare, childcare subsidies, flexible work schedules, work from home, and fertility and adoption benefits. These types of benefits, combined with generous paid leave, enable companies to remain competitive for top talent.

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