Mi­crosoft boosts parental leave, on heels of Net­flix

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Mi­crosoft on Wed­nes­day an­nounced an ex­panded parental leave pol­icy for its U.S.-based em­ploy­ees, a day af­ter a sim­i­lar move by stream­ing tele­vi­sion gi­ant Net­flix.

The tech gi­ant said that from Novem­ber 1, it would of­fer full pay for 12 weeks to new moth­ers and fathers, plus eight ad­di­tional weeks of ma­ter­nity dis­abil­ity, bring­ing the to­tal for moth­ers to 20 weeks.

Un­til now, Mi­crosoft had of­fered four weeks paid and eight weeks un­paid time off for new par­ents in ad­di­tion to ma­ter­nity dis­abil­ity.

“When I look at how rapidly the tra­di­tional work­place is chang­ing, not just at Mi­crosoft, but through­out busi­ness in gen­eral, I see a tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity for com­pa­nies to put a stake in the ground around what they be­lieve in and what kind of cul­ture they want to build to­gether with em­ploy­ees,” Mi­crosoft vice pres­i­dent for hu­man re­sources Kath­leen Ho­gan said in a blog post.

“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.”

Mi­crosoft said it was adding two new paid hol­i­days, Martin Luther King Day in Jan­uary and Pres­i­dents’ Day in Fe­bru­ary, bring­ing the to­tal to 12, in­clud­ing two float­ing hol­i­days. It also is boost­ing the com­pany con­tri­bu­tion for its re­tire­ment sav­ing plan, known as a 401k.

The new pol­icy af­fects some 60,000 U.S.-based Mi­crosoft em­ploy­ees. Ho­gan said that out­side the United States, “we will con­tinue to re­view what’s of­fered in each coun­try and work to align to our global ben­e­fits phi­los­o­phy and the lo­cal reg­u­la­tions and dy­nam­ics in each mar­ket.”

The move comes a day af­ter Net­flix an­nounced it is of­fer­ing up to one year of paid parental leave to both male and fe­male em­ploy­ees af­ter the birth of a child.

Net­flix said the move was aimed at boost­ing job sat­is­fac­tion and re­tain­ing top tal­ent.

“We want em­ploy­ees to have the flex­i­bil­ity and con­fi­dence to bal­ance the needs of their grow­ing fam­i­lies with­out wor­ry­ing about work or fi­nances,” Tawni Cranz from Net­flix said late Tues­day.

“Par­ents can re­turn part-time, full-time, or re­turn and then go back out as needed. We’ll just keep pay­ing them nor­mally,” Cranz said.

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