Everyone’s favourite Thing The Internet Has Brought Us AKA Netflix, is responsible for a wave of headlines today after the company announced it was offering new parents ‘unlimited’ maternity and paternity leave. For the first leave of their child’s life. (I don’t think someone knows what the word unlimited means…)
Netflix published a blog post about their new policy, with Chief Talent Officer Tawni Cranz explaining that the entertainment company was “introducing an unlimited leave policy for new moms and dads that allows them to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.”
It’s a pretty brave move from the employer, but then Netflix is a bit of an outlier and addressing 21st century life and already rather famously offers an unlimited time-off policy. Employees can take as many holidays as they want and there’s no moody manager trying to guilt them for the odd long weekend. Apparently the policy works rather well. Employees were already responding to emails outside of traditional work hours, so they were already building up hours. Now, as long as your manager is aware where you are and your work is done, you can jet off to Hawaii for that weeks-long trip you always wanted. Or you can take that much-needed duvet day. It’s not a surprise Netflix would try revolutionising maternity and paternity after successfully ticking holidays off the list.
Cranz says the benefits of this new policy to mothers and fathers will encourage “flexibility and confidence” and help already harried parents “balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances.” When they look at returning to the office they’ll be “more focused and dedicated.”
Coming back to work won’t be a mini nightmare either. Part-time and full-time hours are workable, or if the pressures of your new family are straining you, you can take some more time at home and come back to the office again. You’ll get your pay cheque as if you were in work every day. The whole point of the endeavour is choice.
At the moment in Ireland, working mothers are entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave, with 16 weeks additional unpaid maternity leave optional. Fathers aren’t legally entitled to any leave, with paternity leave not recognised in our employment law, although some companies operate limited policies.
Does anyone else want to move to San Francisco to work for Netflix and make babies during endless holiday days?