Netflix Offers New Parents One Year of Paid Leave

Netflix Inc. is giving new parents on its payroll up to a year of paid leave in a move that could pressure other technology employers to improve their baby benefits as they vie for talent.

The employee benefit announced Tuesday on Netflix’s blog is generous even by the high standards of Silicon Valley, where free meals and other perquisites supplement lavish salaries in the competitive battle for technology workers.

“We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances,” said Netflix Chief Talent Officer Tawni Cranz. Parents, she added, can return to work part-time or full-time and go back out on leave as needed. “We’ll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay,” she said. 

Google Inc., which consistently ranks among the best places to work, offers 18 weeks of paid maternity leave. Parents can also take seven to 12 weeks of paid “baby bonding” time during their child’s first year.

The U.S. and Papua New Guinea are the only countries among 185 nations and territories that hadn’t imposed government-mandated laws requiring employers to pay mothers while on leave with their babies, according to a study released last year by the United Nations’ International Labor Organization.

Netflix’s baby-benefit policy covers all of the roughly 2,000 people working at its Internet video and DVD-by-mail services, according to the Los Gatos, Calif., company.

Netflix employees will be paid their normal salary and don’t have to use unpaid leave for any of that first year. 

Salaries at Netflix vary widely, according to Glassdoor.com, a website where workers from a variety of industries share information about their compensation. Pay at Netflix ranges from about $15 an hour for customer-service representatives fielding inquiries from the company’s more than 65 million subscribers around the world to more than $200,000 annually for software engineers.

Most Netflix employees also receive stock options, which have been producing huge windfalls in the past few years as the company’s shares have soared. Netflix’s stock closed Tuesday up 7.6% to $121.15.

Netflix traditionally has long given its workers more leeway than most employers. For instance, the company already allows employees to take an unlimited amount of vacationeach year, as long as they get their assignments done and fulfill other requirements of their jobs.

 

Source: Wall Street Journal

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