When soon-to-be-dad Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to go on two-months' paternity leave before his daughter is due, the corporate world took notice. Now the four-month paid paternal leave policy for US employees has been extended to all full-time Facebook employees, regardless of gender or location.
Announcing this via a Facebook post, Lori Matloff Goler, head of human resource at the company, said that the expanded benefit primarily affects new fathers and people in same-sex relationships outside the US.
"I am proud to announce 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," she posted.
"It will not alter the existing maternity leave currently available to all employees worldwide," she added. "Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families," Zuckerberg had posted earlier, sparking a fury of responses and nearly 70,000 likes in just an hour from his nearly 42 million Facebook followers.
According to Pew Research, almost half of fathers are worried that they do not 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," Goler announced.
"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," she added. 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," the Facebook HR head posted. "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," she further wrote. The Facebook CEO has not revealed when his daughter is due.
He will be taking about half the four months of leave Facebook typically offered to new parents. Facebook policy allows him take another two months during the first year of his daughter's life. By comparison, Netflix allows up to a year, Google up to 18 weeks and Microsoft 12 weeks.
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," Goler posted.