We’re happy to hear that improved parental leave policies in the United States have been making headlines a lot lately. Research has shown a direct correlation between women’s overall job satisfaction/employee retention rates and the amount of maternity leave taken -- so these companies are making strides in the right direction.
Unlike nearly every other developed nation in the world, the U.S. does not guarantee paid parental leave; in fact, the U.S. Department of Labor states that only 13% of employees get any kind of paid leave when they take time off from work to care for a new child.
Because there’s no unified standard, it’s up to individual employers to decide on their regulations -- which is why we’ve been keeping an eye on those that have recently adapted their policies to offer more generous paid leave benefits for U.S. employees. Among these companies are IKEA, whose paid parental leave is groundbreaking in that it applies to all employees (both salaried and hourly, regardless of gender), and American Express, which announced in December that as of the first day of 2017, both male and female employees with new children can take 20 weeks of fully-paid leave.
In addition to keeping track of these recent announcements, Fairygodboss offers a free, comprehensive, crowdsourced Maternity Leave Database that ranks companies’ maternity leave policies by most paid weeks. This is an invaluable resource for job seekers who are expecting to have children (whether in the near or distant future), as they may not feel comfortable asking their employer or a prospective employer the specifics on their parental leave policies.
Among those companies that offer the most generous paid leave are Netflix and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, both of which allow new mothers to take 52 paid weeks off. Automattic, Inc. offers 32 paid weeks to new mothers, while several companies -- including Zynga, Etsy, and Spotify -- offer 26 paid weeks.
Which other companies rank highest? Check out our maternity leave database to find out -- and please submit an anonymous tip to make this an even better resource!
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