Benefits innovator spotlight: Netflix
Editor’s note: This is one of 10 employers chosen for Employee Benefit News’ Benefits Leadership awards, spotlighting companies who are taking a fresh approach to employee benefits.
It’s hard not to talk about Netflix when discussing paid leave benefits. The streaming giant famously announced last year it was offering as much as one year of paid time off to new mothers and fathers. That was in addition to the company’s unlimited-time-off policy for vacation and sick days.
“Netflix’s continued success hinges on us competing for and keeping the most talented individuals in their field. Experience shows people perform better at work when they’re not worrying about home,” said Netflix chief talent officer Tawni Cranz in a blog post announcing the change. “We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances. Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed. We’ll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay.”
The company’s paid leave policy has garnered almost as much interest as its show revivals. That’s because it’s simply not done often — or at all.
Only 12% of U.S. private-sector employees have access to any paid family leave through their jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Unlimited time, of course, historically has been much less common.
Netflix perhaps also helped start a new trend — or at least put such benefits in a new light. In the last year, a handful of other companies, including Nestle and Adobe, have expanded paid leave benefits for mothers and fathers.