Netflix Improves Part-Time Parental Leave Policy

In August, Netflix announced a generous parental leave policy, which allows its salaried staff to take unlimited paid leave during the first year of the child’s birth or adoption.

Although this announcement received many praises, others questioned the state of leave for the company’s part-time staff.

Next year, Netflix will change its parental leave policy to allow four months of parental leave for its hourly workers, who will receive 100 percent of their pay during the time away from work, said Tawni Cranz, Netflix’s chief talent officer, in an interview with Talent Management. This portion of the Netflix workforce previously received 12 weeks of leave, according to Huffington Post.

Now, why isn’t Netflix offering the same benefits to both salaried and hourly workers?

“The way that we think about leave benefits and offerings is in line with how we think about comp,” Cranz said. “So when we think about compensation, we think about what is the market pay, what is going to be market competitive, and then also what is caring and compassionate for our employees, and what will they value?”

Cranz added that Netflix is trying to push the idea of giving people the freedom and responsibility to do their jobs. However, this culture aligns better with a salaried workforce, more so than hourly employees.

“When you think about an hourly workforce, it’s not exactly authentic to say, ‘You have all the freedom to do your job and all the responsibility when you have to clock in and clock out,’ ” she said.

At any rate, major parental leave policy changes are being announced among other companies. As the U.S. allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave, it lags behind other developed countries such as Sweden, which offers 16 months of paid leave for mothers and fathers. Some U.S. companies are beginning to recognize and change this at the corporate level. 

Correction: A previous version of this story stated the hourly workers’ changed parental leave will occur the week following original publication. This has been changed to indicate that the new policy will be in effect next year.