Critics Challenge Netflix’s Paternal Leave Plan 

The pros and cons of Netflix’s game-changing family leave.

Netflix recently announced that they will offer one year of paid leave for mothers and fathers after they have a child. Microsoft made similar changes to their paternal leave by offering 12 weeks of paid time off for parents. (Currently, America is one of the few developed nations that doesn’t mandate paid time off for new parents.)

Rob Wilson, CEO of Employco USA, says, “Many people are criticizing Netflix because they feel the plan is too open-ended. People have the option to come back when they desire (within a year’s time), but many employees say that they will feel pressured to come back sooner in order to protect their position and their upward mobility. No one wants to be the employee that takes a full year if everyone else is taking just a few months or less. Women might especially feel this pressure as they often have to work twice as hard to earn promotions and raises.”

Wilson says that majority of Employco’s clients follow the FMLA guidelines and provide 12 weeks of time off, although this time is not paid.

“Most of these companies do not offer paid leave, but they do offer short term disability insurance through our office which has no waiting period if purchased during open enrollment,” he says. “In most cases, employees use a combination of vacation/PTO and short term disability in order to survive those early days of parenthood. It’s not a perfect system, but things continue to improve as more people aren’t afraid to broach this topic with their employers and ask for what they need.”

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