Streaming giant Netflix joins other firms in offering staff unlimited parental leave

Parents working at Netflix will be paid their full salary during the year. They can also choose to come back to work part-time or full-time, and stop and start when they want.

Netflix’s continued success hinges on us competing for and keeping the most talented individuals in their field,” said Tawni Cranz, chief talent officer, in a blog post. “Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home.”

Cranz explained that the company’s purpose is to enable employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances.

“Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed,” Cranz said. “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.”

Read more about Shared Parental Leave:

According to research by the Society for Human Resource Management, roughly one in 100 companies offer unlimited maternity and paternity leave. It is also a policy most likely to be found in the technology sector.

Other companies to have done so include General Electric, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Zynga.

However, while Branson’s paternity announcement attracted a lot of interest, it then emerged that not only will men have had to be working at Virgin for more than four years, but they will also need to be management employees of Virgin’s investment and brand licensing arm.

So of the 50,000 members of Virgin’s workforce (not knowing how many of those are men), only 150-odd well-paid staff will fit the criteria – 0.3 of his employees.

The thinking behind offering unlimited time off perks is that it will motivate employees and increase productivity. This was echoed by an EY study, which found that for every ten extra hours vacation time employees take advantage of, their performance ratings climb by eight per cent. Furthermore, they were less likely to leave the company.

The announcement follows on from Netflix giving staff unlimited holiday time.

At Netflix, salaried employees can take as much time off as they’d like, whenever they want to take it as no one tracks vacation days.

“Rules, policies, regulations and stipulations are innovation killers,” said Steve Swasey, Netflix’s vice-president for corporate communication. “People do their best work when they’re unencumbered. If you’re spending a lot of time accounting for the time you’re spending, that’s time you’re not innovating.”

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