Microsoft ups paid leave for parents to 12 weeks

Microsoft ups paid leave for parents to 12 weeks
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Microsoft will offer more paid parental leave starting this fall, the company announced Wednesday, one day after Netflix said it would give employees unlimited maternity and paternity leave.

Under the Redmond, Wash., firm's new policies, all employees will now be entitled to 12 weeks of paid parental leave. Female employees who give birth to their child will also get an addition eight weeks of maternity disability time off — allowing them to take a total of 20 weeks off if they choose.

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In the past, the first four weeks of leave were paid and the following eight were not.

Microsoft employees can also now take their leave in one block or in two different phases. The policies take effect in November.

“For these parents to bring their best every day, they need time to take care of themselves and their family,” said Kathleen Hogan, the company’s vice president of human resources, in a blog post announcing the changes.

The move comes just one day after Netflix said that it would offer all employees unlimited parental leave the first year after their child was born or adopted.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced that people who worked for contractors who did significant business with the social platform but did not offer paid parental leave would be eligible for a $4,000 “new child benefit.”

The left has pushed for mandatory paid family leave, though some Republicans have questioned the impact that policy would have on small businesses. The debate has dovetailed with the larger conversation over income inequality that has dominated economic discourse in recent years.