By Jak Burke,
Mark Zuckerberg the CEO and co-founder of Facebook, struck a positive blow for new parents when he announced that he was taking a two-month paternity leave in late 2015, after the birth of his first child. This unprecedented move by one of the most powerful movers and shakers in Tech sent shock waves across scores of industries. 21% of U.S companies now offer paid maternity leave.
Since January 1st 2016 approx. 20,000 of the city’s nonunion workers are expected to receive six weeks of paid time off for – maternity, paternity, adoption and foster care – leave. Employees will be able to receive 100% of their salary or up to 12-weeks total when combined with existing leave, like sick time or vacation days. This recent provision does not include union workers however Mayor Bill de Blasio is in talks with NYC’s municipal unions: “Too many new parents face an impossible choice: taking care of their child or getting their paychecks.” Amen!
Best Places to Work for NYC Parents
Private firms are following the trend of providing paid parental leave. Foothold Technology, a health technology firm listed by Crain’s 100 Best Places to Work in NYC, at #69, revised its maternity policy in early 2015 – to 12-weeks for a birth or adoption, from six weeks for a natural delivery and 8 weeks for a C-section. Parents can also opt to add time onto the 12-weeks, allowing new mothers in particular the time that they need to heal and bond adequately with their new baby. This time is vital for developing a sleep schedule, a feeding routine and for sourcing good child care.
Other more prominent firms are going a step further, with Netflix offering one-year paid leave and Microsoft providing 20-weeks for a mom and 12-weeks for a dad. Squarespace lengthened its paid leave for primary caregivers from 12-weeks to 18-weeks. Path Interactive recently instituted a six-week paid leave for primary caregivers. Abacus Group LLC boosted its maternity leave from one-week to eight-weeks. Stack Overflow which provides 12 and six-weeks paid leave for primary and secondary caregivers amended its benefit to sales employees, they receive at least 175% of their base salary for the time that they are on paid leave.
Millennials are fueling the drive towards a more harmonious work-life balance as they enter into parenthood for the first time. With a more open attitude towards switching jobs, employees in their late 20’s are more likely to stay with a company if that company values their home-life. Employers are duly taking note and changing out-dated policies.
What you should know as employee and employer
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires firms with 50 or more employees to provide up to 12-weeks of unpaid leave. For CEO’s looking to save costs its important to remember that the cost of replacing an employee, including interviewing and training, is equal to around 20% of annual salaries. (Center for American Progress) So in the long-view providing maternity and paternity leave saves money because it helps firms to retain existing talent. It also creates job-loyalty and higher performances. That’s a win-win.
Top 20 Best Places to Work in NYC (according to Crain’s)
- Button (tech, connects biz to biz apps)
- Dropbox (tech)
- Bounce Exchange (tech)
- Stack Overflow (tech)
- Cipherhealth (healthcare, insurance)
- Wisdomtree (finance)
- Squarespeace (tech)
- Clune Construction Co. (construction)
- Fluent, Inc (advertizing)
- Elite Sem (advertizing)
- Likeable Media (advertizing)
- Text 100 Global Solutions (advertizing, pr)
- West Monroe Partners (consulting)
- Drinker Biddle & Reath (legal)
- Insperity (consulting)
- Sheppard Mullin (legal)
- Amnet Group (advertizing)
- TPN (advertizing, pr)
- Crowdtap (tech)
- Adtheorent Inc. (tech)
The Top 100 Best Places to Work in NYC