The United States is one of the few countries left that doesn’t mandate paid maternity leave, but that hasn’t stopped Netflix from developing a strong support structure for new parents.     


On Tuesday, Netflix announced a new company policy that allows its employees to take as much maternity or paternity leave as needed in the first year of their child’s birth or adoption. New mothers and fathers working for Netflix will all benefit equally from this new policy.      


There’s no limit on the amount of time they can take off within the first year and when they decide to return, they can choose to re-enter the workforce at full or part-time hours. Taking time off won’t change the employee’s pay either, as Netflix has stated that they will “keep paying them normally.”  


The Netflix headquarters is located in California, which is one of the only four U.S. states that have paid maternity leave laws. The law only gives mothers on maternity leave up to six weeks off at 55 percent of their pay, yet Netflix’s new policy far exceeds this amount.   


This could be Netflix’s attempt at keeping their experienced employees from quitting over an inadequate maternity leave policy. When Google increased their paid maternity leave by six weeks, the company saw a 50 percent drop in the number of new moms quitting their job.   


Comparing countries' maternity leave


According to a 2014 poll, 61 percent of women aged 25 to 54 said that their family responsibilities were the reason they weren’t working. Now that Netflix is giving its employees more time to take care of their families, it’s possible that the company could see a decrease in its turnover rate.    


A year of maternity and paternity leave not only beats the national average, but it’s higher than the amount of parental leave offered by most countries. Netflix leads the pack when it comes to providing rights for new parents, and now more U.S. companies may feel the pressure to follow in their footsteps.                       


Will more companies follow Netflix’s lead and increase their paid leave to new parents? Should there be more laws supporting parental leave? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.