Microsoft announces increased parental leave the day after Netflix announced year-long leave policy

by Allison DeAngelis
Bellevue Reporter 

Following in the steps of Netflix, Microsoft announced on Wednesday, Aug. 5 that they will be increasing their paid paternal leave options, effective Nov. 1.

“As we ask our employees to bring their ‘A’ game to work every day to achieve our mission, we believe it’s our responsibility to create an environment where people can do their best work. A key component of this is supporting our employees with benefits that matter most to them,” Kathleen Hogan, executive vice president of human resources, said in a blog post on Microsoft’s website.

Currently, Microsoft offered eight weeks of full paid maternity disability leave for new mothers, plus 12 weeks of parental leave for all parents of new children (four weeks paid, eight unpaid).

Beginning on Nov. 1, male and female employees will receive 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave.

For birth mothers, that will be in addition to the eight weeks of fully paid maternity disability leave they currently  receive, allowing them to take a total of 20 weeks of fully paid leave. Microsoft is also offering birth mothers expanded opportunity to use short-term disability leave during the two weeks prior to their scheduled due date.

Eligible parents will also have increased flexibility in using their leave, taking it either in one continuous 12-week period or splitting it into two periods. They will also have the option to phase back into work on a half-time basis.

Netflix announced earlier this week that they were introducing an unlimited leave policy for new mothers and fathers, effective immediately. Under this new policy, parents can take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption. They can reportedly return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed.

Related Stories