Hot on the heels of Netflix changing their maternity leave policy, Microsoft has now updated their maternity and family leave policy, allowing new parents to take more time off to tend to their children.
The full changes are laid out in Microsoft’s own blog. The old policy was that new mothers would get eight weeks of leave, fully paid, plus 12 weeks for new parents (4 paid, 8 unpaid). But the new policy is as follows:
… we’re enhancing our paid Parental Leave to 12 weeks, paid at 100 percent, for all mothers and fathers of new children. For birth mothers, this is in addition to the eight weeks of maternity disability leave they currently receive, paid at 100 percent, enabling them to now take a total of 20 weeks of fully paid leave if they choose.
Additionally, we’ll offer birth mothers an expanded opportunity to use Short-Term Disability Leave during the two weeks prior to their scheduled due date to manage the physical impact that often comes with late pregnancy and to prepare for the upcoming birth.
We will also offer flexibility for when eligible parents can take leave. Eligible parents will now have the option to take their Parental Leave either in one continuous 12-week period or split into two periods. These parents will also have the option to phase back into work on a half-time basis.
It’s totally refreshing to see that people are following suit so quickly. Tech companies (especially large corporate ones like Microsoft) have long been seen as hostile places for women to work. Even now, there’s still a (totally bogus) precedent set that views women as a liability because of pregnancy and maternity leave. Taking this stance will hopefully encourage other companies (corporate or startup or tech or not) to do better.
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