Digital music streaming service Spotify announced a game-changing parental leave policy. But will it shame company's with little or no parental leave into action?
Spotify announced a generous new parental leave policy that became effective after its announcement in their New York office this week.
The digital music service's new policy offers six months of maternity and paternity leave to all full-time employees globally and will be available to any new parents—including same-sex couples and those who adopt and use surrogates. Parents are able to take the time as one continuous chunk or spread out over three years.
As if that wasn't amazing enough, the company is also offering a month of flexible working options for parents returning after their leave, including the ability to work part-time, work from home or use flexible hours that accommodate their new schedule as a parent. Workers can also start their leave up to 60 days before the child arrives.
The policy takes effect immediately but it will also be retroactive, meaning employees who had children after January 1, 2013, will be eligible for the leave.
Statistics shows the U.S workforce is generally made up of 50 percent women and the lack of parental leave puts American companies at a competitive disadvantage globally, believes White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett who was in attendance as Spotify CEO Daniel Ek made the announcement in the office.
"The fact that the U.S. is the only developed country without a paid leave policy doesn't make sense," Jarrett said, adding the administration was making a big push for paid policy leave. "We really want to have a culture in our country were you can be a working parent and be productive at work."
The tech industry is taking the lead when it comes to stipulating fair parental leave options, with companies, like Zillow, Twitter, and Netflix announcing new parent-friendly policies of late. Let's hope other industries in the U.S will use these as inspiration and push to develop their own competitive package for new parents. The United States is currently one of only three countries in the world that offer exactly no paid leave to new parents, and that's shameful. Spotify's new policy is just one small step in the right direction.