Netflix announced Tuesday that it will give new parents “unlimited” time off during the first year after a child is born or adopted.
In a statement, the video streaming site said it will keep paying employees during their time off, and that they can return “part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed.”
“We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances,” the statement added.
Netflix said the move is also designed to help employees avoid the “headache” of applying for disability pay, which employees at many companies are required to do as part of the parental leave process.
Last year, a study by the US Government revealed that just 39% of employees said they were able to take some type of paid family leave for the birth of a child. The report argued that there was a need for greater access to paid leave in the U.S., noting that “even when unpaid leave is available, workers may be unable or unwilling to forego lost wages.”
President Obama last year also described paid parental leave as a “national economic priority.”
Below is the full blog post by Chief Talent Office, Tawni Cranz, which outlines the new unlimited maternity and paternity leave program:
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. 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.
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.
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, 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.
Netflix already has an unlimited time-off policy, and the new parental leave policy is a clear indicator that the company wants the best talent and wants to keep them happy, especially those who are planning on becoming parents in the future.