When it comes to starting a new family or adding a new member to your crew, parental leave often plays a big role in what those first few months look like for moms and dads. Will you go back to work at six weeks, 12 or not at all? Luckily, in recent years, there’s a growing number of companies that recognize the need for and the long-term benefits of offering meaningful parental leave options and benefits for new parents. We’re putting the spotlight on 10 companies doing exactly that. Keep reading to see who made our list.
The television and movie streaming giant that brought you such binge-worthy credits as Stranger Things and The Good Place has some of the most flexible and generous paid parental leave in the country. Netflix allows parents to decide how much time off they need to care for and bond with their new baby; while the average leave time for parents is four to eight months, some employees take up to one year. Additionally, during their parental leave, employees can opt to work a flexible schedule, part-time, or not at all, while still receiving their full-time salary.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Seattle-based philanthropy known for its work in such sectors as global child mortality and U.S. postsecondary education is generous with its staff, too. Parents can take up to six months of continuous paid time off during the first year after the child's birth or adoptive placement. The Foundation also offers a $20,000 stipend to help defray childcare costs.
The “front page of the Internet” is careful to recognize the many faces of parenthood, offering 16 weeks of paid leave for birth, adoptive, or foster parents (for both mothers and fathers). Birth mothers receive an additional four months of fully paid disability leave so they can physically recover from childbirth. These benefits can be tapped for up to one year after the arrival of a child and can be used incrementally as-needed.
Reddit’s office culture is attentive to the continuing needs of parents, too, with dedicated breastfeeding rooms, reimbursement of breast milk delivery services (such as Milk Stork), and a childcare stipend for use after the parent returns to work. Reddit partners with Cleo, a female-founded company that offers parents 24/7 support and resources about early childcare development, a phone hotline, lactation consulting, night doulas, and even estate planning. For those who are still in the family planning phase, Reddit provides adoption assistance and pays for egg freezing, fertility testing, and genetic testing. They have even curated a resource library that offers tips for all things related to welcoming a new baby.
Iron Workers Union
The trade association with origins that go back to the 1890s is one of the first unions in the country to follow through on paid leave for its members. Pregnant mothers are eligible for up to six months of pre-term leave. Regardless of the length of leave taken before delivery, members are eligible for up to six weeks of paid leave after the birth of a child (with two additional weeks for Cesarean deliveries).
Everyone’s favorite rabbit hole for interests you didn’t even know you had is equally comprehensive with its perks for families. They provide on-site lending of children's books through BookTree, offer a one-year paid membership to Urbansitter, are dedicated to planning and hosting family-friendly events, and frequently bring in guest speakers who cover topics such as sleep training and estate planning. Pinterest also sponsors a “MyAmbassadors Team” that supports parents while they are on leave. Families trying to conceive can breathe easier knowing that fertility treatments are covered, including artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization.
While the popular international clothing company offers many of the same parental leave benefits as other businesses attentive to new families, it is unique in its benefits for part-time workers. Starting in 2019, all part-time employees receive six weeks of paid parental leave.
Etsy has perfected its online platform for selling bespoke handmade goods—and they’re also pretty good at considering the varying financial and childcare needs of young families. One perk is a New Parent Support Credit, which allows new parents to trade in up to 14 weeks of their parental leave in exchange for a cash payment. This provides parents with more flexible childcare options as they transition back to work.
The nearly 75-year-old skincare, makeup, and hair care company has evolved to meet the needs of more families over the years. In addition to six to eight weeks of paid leave for mothers for recovery from childbirth and an additional 20 weeks of paid leave for bonding (available to both mothers and fathers); Estee Lauder sponsors a back-to-work transition program for parents of all genders and sexual orientations. They also grant up to $10,000 toward adoption expenses and up to $20,000 toward fertility treatments, as well as in-home childcare and eldercare at reduced rates.
As the second-largest private employer in the United States, Amazon has come to meet the family leave needs of all employees: regardless of job title, birth mothers receive 20 weeks of paid leave, while fathers and adoptive parents receive six weeks of paid parental leave—all of which can be taken continuously or incrementally as-needed. The Leave Share program allows employees to "gift" their time to their partner, should their partner's employer not offer paid parental leave, and the Ramp Back program allows parents to work a flexible schedule for up to eight weeks after the birth or adoption of a child.
Speaking of adoption: employees can receive up to $5,000 to cover adoption and attorney fees, court costs and travel costs for single child adoption, or up to a combined maximum of $10,000 for a sibling adoption. And once nursing moms return to work, they can take advantage of Mothers' Rooms with hospital-grade breast pumps, locking doors, comfortable chairs, sinks, microwaves and refrigerators.
Featured image: Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash