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Netflix's Maternity Leave Policy Is Better Than Yours

Illustration for article titled Netflixs Maternity Leave Policy Is Better Than Yours

Not only does Netflix have the best television shows—hi Orange Is the New Black—they also have the best maternity leave program for their workers?


On Tuesday, according to Business Insider, the web-based entertainment company announced on their blog that they’d be providing unlimited maternity and paternity leave for their employees during the first year of a child’s life.

Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed. We’ll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay. 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.



This move is in addition to the company’s unlimited time off mandate, which they reportedly set up in order to recruit the best workers—some of whom happen to be parents!

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I’m curious to know how this will actually work in practice....because sometimes managers put subtle or not subtle pressure on their employees to NOT take advantage of benefits.

My company switched to an unlimited vacation policy this year, but believe me, it’s not for OUR benefit, it’s for the company. Primarily because now accrued vacation days are no longer a negative on the balance sheet, nor do they have to be paid out when someone quits. And research has shown that employees take fewer days than they would if they had a bank of a certain number of days.

One of my colleages recently got an email from our manager chastising her for taking too much vacation (which, again, is unlimited)—which is crazy, because she has nothing else scheduled this year and her total time taken will be 17 or 18 days, which is less than we had a right to before the new policy went into effect. And she’s not having performance issues.

If Netflix really is family friendly and supportive of parents (especially new parents), I’m all for it. The maternity leave in the USA is a tragedy and something needs to be done. I’m just cynical based on recent experience.