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Facebook Set Prominent Example by Extending Parental Leave to 4 Months

The Mary Sue
If you work for Facebook, now might be an optimal time to have a kid, if you were planning on doing. Every full-time employee of the company, gender or location notwithstanding, can now take up to four months of parental leave. Parental leave doesn't have the same prevalence across the working world as maternity leave, and is often regarded as non-essential, but Facebook and others are working to alter that perception
This policy will mostly affect new fathers, but also same-sex couples in areas outside of the US, since it's not so easy elsewhere in the world to obtain a substantial amount of time off following an adoption or the arrival of a child via surrogacy, at least not for both parents. 

Even before this policy was brought in, some employees were taking extended time off for parental leave, most famously Tom Stocky, their current head of search, who took the full four months when his daughter was born back in 2013. Mark Zuckerberg himself is expecting a child with his wife Priscilla Chan, and has elected to take 2 months away from work when this happens, in a move that has surprised a lot of people, given how much he often has on his plate.

A large driving force behind this change is Facebook's continued intention to be a 'family oriented' company. Facebook was, of course, founded and created by a workforce who were either still at university or at least within that age denomination. That was over 10 years ago, and like many other silicon valley companies, many of the senior staff are easily old enough to start thinking about children. With that comes the need for a more mature attitude towards the environment they create for their employees. Bean bag chairs, ping pong tables and Xbox Ones in the break room are all well and good, but a desirable working environment needs to offer advantages to people in all stages of life.

More to the point, other companies tend to follow Facebook's example, and it placed third in LinkedIn's 2014 list of the most desirable companies to work for (although Google was number 1, as it is on many other similar lists). A big payslip is one thing but social media is a changing, labor-intensive and demanding practice, those who engage in it will want to know that their employers are going to give them a lot of breathing room, regardless of what life might throw at them.



Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Facebook Set Prominent Example by Extending Parental Leave to 4 Months Reviewed by Callum Davies on Tuesday, December 01, 2015 Rating: 5

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