Paid Parental Leave on Board!

When the stork brings that bundle or bundles of joy, will it also bring paid parental leave? That’s been a hot topic in the employee benefits industry, especially with the recent arrival of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s twin girls and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s daughter Max.

New mothers and fathers who work at Yahoo can take eight weeks of parental leave and receive $500 to buy items like groceries and baby clothes. Despite Yahoo’s extended parental leave policy, Mayer is only taking a limited time off. She took two weeks off in 2012 when she had her first child, Macallister.

Facebook offers its employees four months of paid leave and gives new fathers and mothers four months of paid leave plus $4,000 in “baby cash.” Zuckerberg is taking two months of paternity leave to spend time with his wife Priscilla Chan and new daughter.


What do other organizations offer for parental leave? The International Foundation’s Employee Benefits Survey found 24% of employers offer paid parental leave and 35% offer unpaid parental leave beyond FMLA requirements. We’ve been seeing a growing number of organizations increasing parental leave offerings for both mothers and fathers.

[Related: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) E-Learning Course]

Companies like Spotify, Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft and Netflix have recently announced enhanced policies. A few reasons are behind the sudden interest in expanded parental leave, like Millennials leading the workforce and citing paid parental leave as an important benefit. Other factors include that more mothers plan to keep working and a work/life balance is increasingly important to both men and women.

Organizations are getting creative and offering parental benefits beyond paid leave. I chose five out-of-the-box perks to highlight:

  1. In addition to a $1,000 baby bonus for new parents, Utah-based Domo offers $2,000 in gift cards for new moms-to-be to purchase maternity clothing.
  2. At Goldman Sachs, new breastfeeding moms get around-the-clock access to lactation consultants and a maternity mentoring program. Mothers receive 16 weeks of paid leave and fathers receive 4 weeks.
  3. New parents at Johnson & Johnson receive grocery and laundry pickup services. Mothers get 17 weeks of paid leave, and fathers receive nine weeks.
  4. Patagonia’s full-time employees can drop off their children from the time they’re newborns until they’re 9 years old at child-care centers on the company’s campus. Staffers also coordinate after-school pickups. Parents receive eight weeks of paid leave.

This will be an employee benefit to keep following, as more and more companies examine and refocus work-life balance and expand parental leave programs. Harvard Business Review recently released best practices for parental leave guidelines that could be helpful when looking at your own company’s policy.

Anne Patterson
Anne Killian
Communications Associate at the International Foundation

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