By Alex Temblador
On Wednesday, November 25th, Facebook announced that they will be extending paid parental leave to “new parents, no matter their gender or where in the world they live.” What’s even more amazing about this new Facebook policy? It’s intended for fathers and same-sex parents who live not only in the U.S., but those who live in countries that provide little to no recognition or rights to same-sex couples and parents.
Lori Matloff Goler, head of Facebook’s Human Resources, stated that the company “decided to make this change because it’s the right thing to do for our people and their families.” Goler added, “We believe that fathers and mothers alike deserve the same level of support when they are starting and growing a family, regardless of how they define family.”
All new parents who work full-time for Facebook will now receive four months of paid baby leave! That’s amazing considering most people in the U.S. aren’t afforded paid parental leave from their jobs and most European Union member countries only provide around 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.
In Goler’s announcement, she cited how lacking the world is in providing parental leave and the benefits of providing it for all families: “Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families. For too long, paid baby leave has been granted only to a mother who is giving birth.”
She also noted why Facebook wishes to encourage the new fathers who work for the company to take the paid parental leave: “According to Pew Research, almost half of fathers are worried that they don’t spend enough time with their children.”
Besides four months of parental leave, Facebook’s new policy has some other overwhelming benefits. For instance, all new parents at Facebook worldwide, who had a baby or adopted in 2015 and worked at Facebook during that time, will be eligible to take paid parental leave. Those new parents of 2015 and future parents at Facebook will be able to take the parental leave “at any point up to a year after the baby is born.”
This new parental leave announcement comes just two weeks after Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, announced that he will take 2 months of parental leave after his wife gives birth to their first child in January. There is little doubt that this is one of the reasons as to the new policy change.
We are glad to see Facebook maintain a high standard in regard to LGBT inclusive workplace policies and policies that provide great benefits to all families worldwide.