August 06 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Netflix announces unlimited parental leave for staff

Online streaming service Netflix is not just shaking up the film and TV industries with its business model, it is also taking a fresh look at working practices for employees too.

The company has announced plans to let parents take “unlimited” parental leave for the first year following a new addition to the family.

Growing families

The move, which will apply to Netflix employees in the USA and Canada, applies to both maternity and paternity leave in the first year following either birth or adoption. Workers who take up the offer will be paid their full salary throughout their leave.

Netflix’s chief talent officer, Tawni Cranz, wrote a blog post announcing the innovative new policy. In the post, she said the policy was aimed at giving employees “the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances”.

Back to work

Parents who take the leave will be able to ease themselves back into work by returning on a part-time or temporary basis if required.

Ms. Cranz said: “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.”

She added that people “perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home” and believes that workers would “return to work more focused and dedicated” after taking advantage of the new offer.

In general, female workers in the US are only entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.

New ideas

Other companies such as Virgin now allow their staff to take as much time off as they like under certain conditions.

However, some commentators expressed concerns about the possible impact on small businesses and SMEs who may feel pressured to compete with the generous offers made by larger companies to their staff.

Claire Payne

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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