With all the talk about the dismal state of maternity leave policies in the U.S., men often get left behind. That's too bad, because better paternity leave policies would benefit everyone in the country, from the kids who will make up the workforce of the future to the childless folks who are toiling away today.
Recently, Mark Zuckerberg announced that he will take two months off after his wife Priscilla Chan gives birth. That shouldn't come as a shock: after all, Facebook, like many tech companies, offers a generous paid parental leave policy for both moms and dads. But in a country where paid paternity leave is rare – only 13 percent of dads who took leave after their children arrived received pay, compared to 21 percent of moms, according to the Department of Labor – and chief executives are expected to show leadership by making their companies the unequivocal center of their lives, Zuckerberg's choice to take some time off is almost radical. If it becomes a trend, especially among male CEOs, it could even have positive repercussions for the rest of us in our working lives.
Last night, Netflix announced what may well be the most generous parental leave policy in the country – which isn't saying much, given that the U.S. mandates no paid leave, and offers only 12 weeks of unpaid time off for new parents. To get a sense of how radical (and unusual) policies like these are, we asked working parents in a variety of industries to share their experiences of the state of parental leave in the United States today.
The United States is one of only four countries in the world that doesn't guarantee any paid leave for new parents. Americans who work for the government or private companies with 50 or more employees are usually covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period – but when expenses are higher than ever before, families are often hard-pressed to use unpaid leave. As a result, employers in competitive niches like tech use paid parental leave as a way to woo in-demand talent, with giants like Google and Facebook often topping the list. On Tuesday, Netflix announced a paid parental leave policy that would make even the most pampered employees green with envy: unlimited time off, at full pay, after the birth or adoption of a child.
Last week, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson announced that employees of Virgin Management in London and Geneva will receive a year of maternity or paternity leave, at full pay, to be shared between parents. Shortly after, a Virgin spokesperson confirmed to ABC News that the company was considering extending the policy to management in the U.S., as well, saying that they were "in the process of working hard on making this happen in the U.S., and hope to have an update in the coming months."
Hey, working dads. Yeah, you! Do you want greater job satisfaction, a happier household, less bickering with your wife, and praise from your co-workers? Seem too good to be true? Well, a couple of new studies show that you actually can have your cake and eat it, too – you just have to spend more time with the kiddos. Read on to see what we mean.
Last week, Vodafone Group announced that it will offer 16 weeks of paid maternity leave to employees at all 30 of its companies around the world by the end of the year. In addition, returning mothers will be offered a flexible work schedule after their leave is over: for six months, they will be allowed to work 30 hours a week, while retaining their full-time salary.
American working parents continue to get the short end of the stick when it comes to parental leave. We'll take a look at how this troubling reality has grave effects for parents and, especially, the US economy.
New mothers are returning to the workforce in droves; however, the reality of going back to work is, often times, a bleak one for working moms. We’ll take a look at why going back to work postpartum is much harder than it may seem.