Five most generous parental leave policies UK firms could look to copy

(3) Facebook

Before an overhaul of benefits by Netflix and Microsoft, Facebook was the reigning paid parental leave king. The social media platform gives staff 16 weeks of paid parental leave and it’s been suggested that the company has cultivated a culture where it’s taboo not to take the full amount off.

In order to give all employees the same amount of time off, Facebook had to introduce four extra months of leave for fathers – the announcement of which was made after founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed he would be taking two months of leave for the birth of his first child.

On top that, Facebook gives employees $4,000 in “baby cash” and has designated breast-feeding rooms. The company also subsidises adoption programmes, child care, as well as sperm donation and egg freezing initiatives.




(4) Virgin – only for some

In the UK, entrepreneur’s Virgin Group has courted much controversy. Virgin has gone where only Netflix has gone before by offering fathers a year’s paternity leave on full salary. In having done so, founder Richard Branson went above and beyond the set shared parental leave system outlined by the government allowing parents to divide 50 weeks of leave between them.

However, it comes with a catch. Only those that have worked with Virgin for four years are eligible to enroll on the programme. More importantly, the offer only applies to employees of Virgin Management. This means that only 140 people employed at offices are affected by the policy.

Nonetheless, it still remains a ground-breaking concept.

Richard Branson’s paid year of paternity leave for men just another cheap publicity stunt




(5) Adobe

Not to be overshadowed by the other tech giants, Adobe offers 26 weeks of paid maternity leave and 16 weeks of paid paternity leave for both birth and adoptive parents. This, according to Donna Morris, its SVP of people and places, was to boost the firm’s aim of striving towards increased workforce diversity.

Adobe previously allowed between eight to 26 weeks time off depending on the location of its workers. Its now fully implemented 16 weeks of paid time off for all “primary” caregivers is an increase from the company’s prior benefit of up to 12 weeks of time off – only two of which was paid.

The additional changes it made in August 2015 was the provision of four weeks paid leave to take care of sick family members, as well as up to ten weeks of paid time for surgery, illness, medical emergency and child birth.

The decision by Mark Zuckerberg to take two months off work as paternity leave has grabbed the business news headlines. How can the man who runs one of the world’s most valuable, dynamic and most closely-watched companies be out of the office for eight weeks?

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