We just announced our new parental leave policy. We will offer six months of parental leave to all full-time employees globally, effective immediately.
Proud and happy we made the announcement in our New York offices together with White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who emphasized that the administration is making a push for a paid leave policy right now.
“The fact that the US is the only developed country without a paid leave policy doesn’t make sense,” Jarrett said, emphasizing that leave increases worker productivity and even profitability. “We really want to have a culture in our country were you can be a working parent and be productive at work.”
Our leave will be available to all new parents at the company — including same-sex couples and those who adopt and use surrogates — for the first three years of a child’s life. The company also said it would offer a month of flexible work options for those returning, including the ability to work from home, work part time or take advantage of flexible hours.
“I think we can be a role model,” Daniel Ek said peaking from Sweden.
New parents can take the leave continuously or in three chunks over three years. The policy will also be retroactive, meaning workers who had children after Jan. 1, 2013 will be eligible to take advantage.
Employees are not guaranteed their same exact job upon their return from leave, but their role will be commensurate with that employee’s current level of experience. Workers can also start their leave up to 60 days before the child arrives.
When I mentioned that Swedish parents get up to 480 days leave, and you can take it until your kids are 8 years old the room of reporters made a gasping sound. I encouraged everyone in the room to tweet their support for paid leave, with the #LeadOnLeave hashtag.
Spotify, with its 1,600 employees, joins a growing group of mainly tech companies that have expanded the amount of leave on offer to workers, partly in an effort to attract workers as the market for tech talent heats up. Companies that recently expanded leave include Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe and Accenture.
The United States is currently one of only two (?) nations in the world that offer exactly no paid leave to new parents. Jarrett said that puts us at a competitive disadvantage globally and doesn’t serve the American workplace, where more than 50 percent of workers are women. “Our strategy is to make the case for why this is important,” she said.
We will backdate the policy so that every one of its 1,600 worldwide employees with a child born after 1 January 2013 will be eligible. Our people will also enjoy a “Welcome back!” programme so that returning staff can “ease back into their job with the ability to work from home, on a part-time schedule and with flexible hours”. Parents at Spotify will be able to take their leave up to the child’s third birthday. Of course we won´t make any difference for mothers, fathers, adoption and/or surrogacy.
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