Netflix offers employees paid parental leave for up to a year

Parenting is the most important thing—after 'Orange is the New Black.'

 

Marisa Kabas

IRL

Published Aug 5, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 5:33 am CDT

Netflix wants its employees to binge-watch their babies.

In a post on its official blog on Tuesday, the streaming company announced that it would be offering unlimited maternity and paternity leave for new parents.

“At Netflix, we work hard to foster a ‘freedom and responsibility’ culture that gives our employees context about our business and the freedom to make their own decisions along with the accompanying responsibility,” Netflix’s Chief Talent Officer Tawni Cranz wrote. “With this in mind, today we’re 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.”

The announcement continued:

“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, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay. Each employee gets to figure out what’s best for them and their family, and then works with their managers for coverage during their absences.”

In a recent episode of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver skewered the United States for being just one of nine countries in the world that does not offer some sort of paid parental leave. Current federal law allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new parents. And that’s it.

The current state of parental leave in the U.S. can cause a slew of issues, from exacerbating postpartum depression to negatively affecting an infant’s health.

For now, individual companies must set their own policies toward parental leave. 

“Netflix’s continued success hinges on us competing for and keeping the most talented individuals in their field,” Cranz said. “Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home. This new policy, combined with our unlimited time off, allows employees to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated.”

Illustration by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Aug 5, 2015, 1:00 pm CDT