In August, Netflix announced that it would give eligible employees up to one year of paid leave with full benefits in an attempt to create a more flexible workplace and a culture of “freedom and responsibility.”
Since then, other well-known companies such as Microsoft and Adobe have scrambled to add or enhance their parental leave policies to maintain an advantage in the never-ending battle for the best workers.
But as SHRM Online writer Dana Wilke says in “The Rush Toward Paid Paternal Leave. Why Now?,” “So why, just over the past few months, has there been a rush of companies offering paid parental leave, when it’s something working parents would almost certainly have welcomed decades ago?”
Smart CEOs are watching workforce trends and are working with their HR leaders to craft solutions that will boost talent management strategies. “It behooves companies to watch the demographics of employees they are trying to attract,” said Maureen Corcoran, Prudential’s vice president of health, life and inclusion in the SHRM Online article “Is Extended Paid Parental Leave the Wave of the Future?” “They need to look at why people are leaving so they can remain competitive.”
Paid parental leave is a great idea, but not all businesses can afford to provide it, or have the infrastructure to support it. And while new parents love it, is the Netflix policy unfair to employees who don’t qualify? What about the workers with toddlers, teenagers and aging parents who also need time off for family issues? What if an employee can’t have children and their “newborn” is a puppy? Shouldn’t the culture of freedom and responsibility apply to all employees?
In the new world of work, employers are finding that they will need to create unique benefits and flexible leave policies—and be fair to all employees—in order to attract and keep the best talent.
Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on October 7 for #Nextchat with special guest Dana Wilke @SHRMDanaWilke. We’ll chat about paid parental leave and other options for employers to attract talent and promote employee loyalty.
Q1. Do you think paid parental leave policies like Netflix’s are unfair to other employees? Why/Why not?
Q2. What paid and/or unpaid leave policies does your organization currently have for new parents outside of the Family and Medical Leave Act?
Q3. What additional paid leave does your company offer to employees, beyond sick days, holidays and vacation?
Q4. How has your organization modified its paid leave policies in the past five years? Why did you modify?
Q5. What technology can be implemented to allow for greater flexibility for new parents and all employees in your organization?
Q6. How can organizations that cannot afford to provide paid parental leave support new parents in other ways?
Q7. What programs and activities do you offer to promote employee loyalty beyond paid leave?
Q8. What do parents with children at any age need most from their employer in terms of support?