We came across an Idaho Falls News story about Netflix’s recent announcement on employe maternity and paternity leave. According to the story, new parents who work for the video-streaming company can take as much time off as they want during the first year after they have a child.
The policy applies to childbirth as well as adoption.
Netflix issued a press release saying that the company wants its employees to be able to spend as much time as they need with their families, and not have work get in the way. During the one-year period, parents can come and go at their jobs as they please, and when the year is up, they can return to full-time or part-time work.
During the leave, Netflix says, employees will be paid regularly so they don’t have to deal with the stress that comes from having to apply for state or disability funding.
While this is an extremely progressive parental leave policy by American standards, it is much more in line with practices in other parts of the world, particularly European countries. With 62 weeks at 100% pay, Estonia has the most generous maternity leave in the world. Moms in Croatia, the United Kingdom, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania all get at least a full year of leave. Moms in Norway can choose between 25 weeks at 100% pay or 45 weeks at 80% pay; dads there also have some of the most generous paternal leave in the world
That being said, more liberal parental leave policies seem to be getting more popular here in the U.S. too. Employees at Facebook get four months of parental leave, while Apple offers a maternity leave of 14 weeks. A day after Netflix made its parental leave announcement, Microsoft made its own news: extending leave for both moms and dads to 12 weeks. Still that’s a long cry from Netflix’s offer of 52 weeks for both moms and dads.
The United States is the only nation in the Americas that does not have a government-mandated parental-leave policy (the only other country in the world that doesn’t is Papua New Guinea); instead, it’s up to the individual employer. All other countries in North and South America offer between 12 and 26 weeks of maternity leave, and many offer some period of paternity leave.