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Netflix Gives New Parents One Year of Paid Leave

Netflix says move will help foster its culture of 'freedom and responsibility'
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2015 5:25 AM CDT
Updated Aug 5, 2015 6:55 AM CDT
Netflix Grants One Year Paid Maternity, Paternity Leave
In this April 22, 2011 file photo, the exterior of Netflix headquarters is shown in Los Gatos, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(Newser) – Expecting parents wondering which company offers the best maternity and paternity leave in the US need look no further. Netflix announced yesterday that it is upping the ante, offering new parents unlimited, fully-paid maternity and paternity leave for the first year after having or adopting a child. The streaming video company based in Los Gatos, Calif., also offers unlimited paid vacation, and it's all toward fostering "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," writes Tawni Cranz, chief talent officer. The new policy "deserves high marks for extending leave to fathers," reports Fortune, "as well as understanding that the entire first year after childbirth can be challenging."

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It's a "landmark perk," reports TechCrunch, noting that Yahoo doubled its maternity and paternity leave in 2013 (to 16 paid weeks for moms and eight paid weeks for dads) to compete with packages offered by Facebook and Google because "the talent is growing up." A decade ago big company perks included free lunch and ping pong tables, but now the major moves are about helping employees balance work and home life because "experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home," Cranz adds. Of course, employees will have to plan their leave with managers and coworkers in advance to make sure their absence isn't disruptive—behaving, you know, like adults. (See who beat Netflix to the punch.)

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