Netflix introduces unlimited paid maternity and paternity leave

5 Aug 2015

Netflix introduces new policy to offer unlimited parental leave during first year

Netflix is to give employees unlimited maternity and paternity leave during the first year after the birth or adoption of a child, it has been announced.

The new policy was announced by the CTO of Netflix, Tawni Cruz, in a release on the streaming site’s US and Canada blog.

Under the policy, Netflix employees will be able to design their own maternity or paternity leave schedule, taking as much or as little time as they need during that first year.

According to Cruz: “We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances. Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed. We’ll just keep paying them normally.”

This is in stark contrast to the US’s maternity leave legislation, which mandates for a mere 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Paternity leave isn’t legislated for at all.

Of course, other countries enjoy broader rights when it comes to parental leave – in Ireland, for instance, paid maternity leave stretches to 26 weeks, with an additional 16 weeks offered unpaid – but none on this unprecedented scale.

Netflix has specific reasons in mind for introducing this new policy: “Netflix’s continued success hinges on us competing for and keeping the most talented individuals in their field. Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home. This new policy… allows employees to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated.”

This new perk is in addition to the company’s existing unlimited leave policy, showing Netflix’s dedication to talent and determination to maintain employees’ loyalty.

Updated 5 August 2015 at 11:34: This article originally stated that, in the US, employees are paid while on maternity leave. US maternity leave is, in fact, entirely unpaid.

Main image, via Shutterstock

Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic