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52 Weeks of Parental Leave Now Exists. Paid

For a very select group of employees at one of Richard Branson's subsidiaries
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2015 4:53 PM CDT
52 Weeks of Parental Leave Now Exists. Paid
Sir Richard Branson participates in an on court stunt with Chicago Bulls' mascot Bennie The Bull, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(Newser) – Richard Branson has come up with a parental leave policy that Michelle Duggar could have retired on probably sometime in the last century: 52 weeks of leave at 100% pay, reports TheStreet. "If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business," says Branson in a statement. "As a father and now a grandfather to three wonderful grandchildren, I know how magical the first year of a child's life is, but also how much hard work it takes." The policy affects moms and dads, including adoptive parents.

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If the change sounds a little too chock-full of unicorns and rainbows, there are definitely some limits, notes CNN: It applies only to employees with at least four years of service, and only to 140 employees in London and Switzerland who work for Virgin Management. Virgin employs 50,000 people on the planet. Employees with less than two years of service are eligible for 25% of their pay for 52 weeks. (Branson also made headlines for a venture involving a group his company signed way back when: the Sex Pistols.)

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