Netflix announced Tuesday that it’s allowing employees to take unlimited maternity or paternity leave during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption.
During that first year, Netflix employees will be able to take off however long they feel they need to. They can return on a full- or part-time basis, and even take subsequent time off later in the year if needed. Netflix will “keep paying them normally,” eliminating the hassle of having to switch to disability leave, the company says.
Netflix’s policy deserves high marks for extending leave to fathers, as well as understanding that the entire first year after childbirth can be challenging for new parents. But it should be noted that unlimited time off policies can have their pitfalls. Many tech companies, including Netflix, offer unlimited paid vacation time. That can be great for employees taking long trips, but it also means employees have to work with their managers and teams ahead of time to make sure their absence won’t jeopardize a project or deadline. Extended absences can also strain workplace relations.