Facebook has updated its global paid baby leave policy to include four months of paid leave for new fathers, no matter which Facebook office they work in.
The social media giant’s head of HR and recruiting, Lori Goler, announced the move in a blog post, less than a week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is planning to take two months paternity leave himself.
Prior to today it was only possible for Facebook employees in the US to take four months paid leave.
Goler said the global reforms, which will be applied to all of Facebook’s 11,000 plus employees — including new mothers, fathers, and same-sex parents — are part of Facebook’s ambition to become one of the top businesses for families, however they are defined.
The move could force other large technology companies to follow suit and adopt similar policies.
Goler added that it’s “right thing to do for our people and their families.”
Her full blog post reads:
I am proud to announce today that we are extending our parental leave policy for full time employees to cover four months of paid baby leave for all new parents, no matter their gender or where in the world they live. This expanded benefit primarily affects new fathers and people in same-sex relationships outside the U.S. It will not alter the existing maternity leave currently available to all employees worldwide.
Our approach to benefits at Facebook is to support our employees and the people who matter most to them. We want to be there for our people at all stages of life, and in particular we strive to be a leading place to work for families. An important part of this is offering paid parental or ‘baby’ leave.
In reviewing our parental leave policies, we have decided to make this change because it’s the right thing to do for our people and their families. Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families. For too long, paid baby leave has been granted only to a mother who is giving birth. We believe that fathers and mothers alike deserve the same level of support when they are starting and growing a family, regardless of how they define family.
According to Pew Research, almost half of fathers are worried that they don’t spend enough time with their children. Starting on January 1, 2016, all new dads and same-sex partners at Facebook will receive four months of paid leave to bond with a new baby, whether they are the primary caregiver or not. All new parents in all of our offices worldwide, including those who had or adopted a baby in 2015 and were Facebook employees at the time, will be eligible. The leave can be taken at any point up to a year after the baby is born. Taking parental leave is a very personal decision, but we want to be able to provide our people with the support and flexibility to take the time they need.”
In the UK, the statutory paternity leave is one to two weeks, although some companies do choose to offer more. More details can be read here.
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