Netflix Changes The Game With Unlimited Parental Leave Policy

August 5, 2015  |  

This is huge for new parents.

Netflix announced Tuesday that it’s now allowing employees to take unlimited maternity or paternity leave during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption.

During that first year, Netflix employees will be able to take off however long they feel they need to. They can return on a full- or part-time basis, and even take subsequent time off later in the year if needed. Netflix will “keep paying them normally,” eliminating the hassle of having to switch to disability leave, the company says.

At Netflix, we work hard to foster 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. With this in mind, today we’re introducing an unlimited leave policy for new moms and dads that allows them to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption.

We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances. Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed. We’ll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay. Each employee gets to figure out what’s best for them and their family, and then works with their managers for coverage during their absences.

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. This new policy, combined with our unlimited time off, allows employees to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated.

–Tawni Cranz

Tawni Cranz is Netflix’s Chief Talent Officer

Netflix’s policy deserves props for extending leave to fathers, as well as understanding that the entire first year after childbirth can be challenging for new parents.

But do unlimited time off policies have pitfalls?

Many tech companies, including Netflix, also offer unlimited paid vacation time. That just means employees have to work with their managers and teams ahead of time to make sure their absence won’t jeopardize a project or deadline.

But parents know about juggling roles, don’t we?

Do you think these extended absences will strain workplace relations between new parents and non-parents?

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