Netflix Announces Unlimited Parental Leave For New Parents

Netflix is breaking ground with its new policy that allows new parents unlimited leave for a year

Netflix is once again changing the game, but this time they’re dealing with parenting instead of binge watching.

The company announced Tuesday that it’s offering its new moms and dads unlimited maternal and paternity leave within the first year of their 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," wrote Netflix’s chief talent officer Tawni Cranz in the blog post that announced the company’s new policy.

"Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home."

The announcement also says that parents may return to work either part-time or full-time as they wish and that they will be paid as they normally are, “eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay.”

Often in the United States, maternity leave is paid through disability insurance, which covers all or part of a person’s pay when they are sick for a long period of time. Netflix’s new policy is being applauded for taking out the disability pay, showing that having or raising a child is not a disability.

“Separating from disability has great potential,” said Ken Matos to The Huffington Post. Matos is the senior director of research at the Families and Work Institute. “It removes the pathology of pregnancy. Childbirth is no longer a disease that women get and men don’t, but a family-creating experience. It alters the conversation.”

By giving both mothers and fathers equal time off and an equal chance to come back when needed, Netflix’s new policy has taken the stigma out of leaving work to care for a new child. Research shows that many times, women come back to work after maternity leave and face discrimination for their time off. 

Netflix employs over 2,000 people in the United. Currently, the United States does not guarantee paid maternity leave, but many hope that Netflix’s new change starts conversation and sets precedent. 

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