Netflix is one of the most progressive companies in the United States, and it has just taken another huge stride forward for the working parents it employs. The company announced in August of 2015 that it would offer up to 12 months of paid leave for new parents. However, this would apparently only benefit salaried employees, but Netflix is now saying that in 2016, the paid leave for parents will be extended to its hourly employees as well.
When Netflix made its announcement in August that it would give its salaried employees up to an entire year of paid parental leave (maternity, paternity leave), many people pointed out that this left out entire sections of the company. Most importantly, it left out its hourly employees. Now, the company is reversing its decision and extending the paid leave to all of its employees (hourly and salaried).
In 2016, Netflix’s hourly employees will also get paid leave for their children. Hourly employees, like salaried employees, will receive 100 percent pay for their leave. The amount of time allowed for each employee will vary depending on what section of the company they work within.
The following sections of the company will be able to receive fully paid maternity and paternity leave: streaming, DVD and customer service.
Here is how the changes affect each section of the company and its employees:
- Streaming: 16 weeks for maternity, paternity and adoptions at full pay. Previously, the company didn’t cover paid leave for paternity and adoptions. In the past, maternity disability pay was all the company covered, at ⅔.
- DVD: 12 weeks for maternity, paternity and adoptions at full pay. Previously the company didn’t cover paid leave for paternity and adoptions. In the past, maternity disability pay was all the company covered, at ⅔.
- Customer Service: 14 weeks for maternity, paternity and adoptions at full pay. In the past, maternity disability was all the company covered, at 60 percent of pay. Previously the company didn’t cover paid leave for paternity and adoptions.
In the announcement, Netflix noted that “benefits vary depending on decisions made by the leadership of those parts of our business as well as the competitive landscape for each.” And, while the hourly employees are not receiving the 12 months paid leave like salaried employees, 12 to 16 weeks paid leave is extremely uncommon among hourly employees in the U.S.
However, the U.S. is one of the least-generous countries when it comes to paid parental leave. Many others countries require medium and large-sized companies to provide at least 16 weeks paid parental leave for their employees. For salaried workers, parental leave is often part of the most competitive packages in the U.S. Oftentimes, hourly employees are forced to take a few unpaid weeks off from work after the birth of a child and required to head straight back to the office. As Netflix has added to its benefits for its hourly employees, there may be significant changes in companies throughout the nation.