By America’s standard, it sounds too good to be true. Netflix is offering a whole year of paid leave to employees who just became parents. Tawni Cranz, Netflix’s chief talent officer, assures us that it is not.
“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.”
Is what the Netflix chief talent officer Cranz wrote in her blog stating why Netflix made the decision.
For most countries, this is a no-brainer. According to an article on the new Netflix benefit by Inc., America and Papua New Guinea are the only countries out of 168 nations and territories that don’t have some sort of government-mandated paid leave for mothers and/or new parents. Fortunately, Netflix isn’t waiting on the government.
Netflix’s announcement has branded them as having the most generous parental leave policy in the nation, setting Netflix up as a global competitor for top talent. Netflix’s parental leave policy even beats out the U.K government’s mandated 290 days of leave with 90 percent pay, according to a 2013 Huffington Post article.
Its been noted that Netflix’s move could push companies in Silicon Valley, already known for its lavish benefits, to catch up with Netflix’s extended benefits to new parents. Google’s current offering is 3 months for “baby bonding,” according to ABC News.
Many analysts say the new Netflix policy will impact the entire private sector. J. Veronica Biggins, a director at Southwest Airlines, among other things, told Bloomberg the Netflix parental benefit will have an impact on the accepted standard for parental leave.
“Netflix…raises the bar for other companies — it really sets a whole new bar.”
The one year paid parental leave that Netflix has pioneered isn’t just a Netflix executive benefit. The Netflix one year paid parental leave benefit applies to all 2,000 of Netflix’s employees. The benefit even covers the Netflix employees who do customer service. The perks for Netflix employees don’t stop there. Parents who are adopting are also eligible for Netflix’s one-year paternal leave benefit.
The employees of Netflix are a part of the meager 12 percent of all U.S. employees that have access to maternity leave from their employer, according to the Bloomberg article highlighting the Netflix Unlimited Paid Leave benefit. However, with the new standard set by Netflix, it may just be a matter of time before we see those numbers grow.
Netflix’s benefit is an acknowledgment that keeping top female talent at Netflix requires familial concession. That realization hasn’t been made by Netflix alone. A CNN Money article noted an increase in the women who stayed with Google after their small but significant increase of 3 months to 4 and a half months of paid maternity leave. A benefit considered progressive by American standards.
It goes without question that Netflix will have access to the top of the talent pool. It seems that Netflix puts employees in control of their life and employment. Netflix posted in their blog that the parental perk is a part of 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.”
Get this, Netflix also has an unlimited sick day and vacation policy, meaning Netflix bachelors and bachelorettes can also cash in on the self-determination culture, provided they get their work done.
Netflix employees will now have the financial independence to have a family and a career. Unlimited paid parental leave means Netflix employees won’t have to depend on the government for maternity leave benefits. Maybe Netflix understands that healthy families need parents. The rest of the developed world knows this. Now, because of Netflix, America may finally have to acknowledge it as well.
[Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images News]