The leading provider of the on-demand Internet streaming media, Netflix, recently announced its policy to provide unlimited parental leave for new parents. The U.S.-based firm said it would be offering its employees a year-long paternity and maternity leave in the first year after the birth or adoption of a child.
The policy enables employees in all the countries where Netflix is based to take as much leave as they want during the first year and get paid fully. The announcement about the policy came soon after it was revealed that the company's stock had nearly doubled in the last year.
The “unlimited parental leave” announcement has received mixed opinions from experts. Some experts believe that the decision is an attempt to retain the talented individuals within the company, while some say that Netflix has framed the policy, keeping in mind fierce market conditions.
"Netflix's continued success hinges on competing for and keeping the most talented individuals in their field," said Netflix's chief talent officer, Tawni Cranz.
"Experience shows people perform better at work when they're not worrying about home."
The policy goes hand in hand with the research findings, which highlight the importance of keeping in close touch with infants during the initial months.
“We have decades of research that tells us how important it is that a bond is established between parents and young children beginning at birth,” says Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff of the Harvard University.
On the other hand, Fortune reports that such a decision and unlimited time off can create confusion and chaos in the mind of the person who opts for the policy, and can end up putting more pressure on them. First, a new mother or a father might feel confused about how much time to take off. Second, they might end up regretting the projects and meetings they would miss while on a parental leave.
Netflix was one of the first companies to introduce the unlimited vacation policy. Following the announcement, other leading companies, including the Virgin Group, Best Buy and Evernote introduced a similar policy at their workplace.
A report by the Wall Street Journal revealed that at Netflix, employees started to take a vacation for three to five weeks a year, greater than what they were taking before the policy was introduced. However, all the workers kept in touch through email or phone while they were on vacation.
With its headquarters in California, Netflix has its viewers spread across more than 23 countries in the world. Soon, Japan, Iceland, Portugal, Italy and Spain will be listed as areas covered by Netflix.