Netflix announced yesterday that it will now be offering all employees a year of paid maternity or paternity leave.

The online movie and television show streaming platform says that all employees will continue to receive their regular pay for up to a year after the birth or adoption of a child. This progressive policy also includes that parents can return to work then take additional time off as needed. “Each employee gets to figure out what’s best for them and their family, and then works with their managers for coverage during their absences,” Tawni Cranz, Chief Talent Officer for Netflix, said in a statement.

Netflix joins others in the industry leading the way for more fair and progressive employee policies. Earlier this year, Facebook Incorporated announced that the company will be requiring  improved benefits from its contractors, including higher pay and paid leave. Facebook also offers four months of paid leave for all employees with a new child, $4,000 to employees with a new child, and subsidizes day care programs and fertilization or surrogate parenting programs. Twitter offers up to 20 weeks of paid maternity leave to employees, and 10 weeks of paid paternity leave.

Paid family leave is a big concern for working women and families, and last year Thomas Perez, the US Secretary of Labor, called paid family leave one of the most critical issues facing working families. And in January, President Obama announced his intention to sign a Presidential Memorandum that would greatly improve paid sick leave and child care leave for parents with a new child.

Extending greater maternal benefits has been shown to improve the rate at which parents return to work after having a child. In 2007, Google extended its paid maternity leave to 18 weeks and found that the rate at which mothers with a new child left Google permanently was cut almost in half.

Media Resources: Netflix Blog 8/4/15; Feminist Newswire 5/13/15; 7/19/14; 1/15/15; NY Times 8/4/15;

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