Microsoft made a statement to their community of partners and suppliers. A new requirement – offer a minimum of 12 weeks of parental leave. Microsoft, like many larger firms, has a large network of suppliers and partners. A diverse community surrounds Microsoft, and leaders at Microsoft want to see certain values extend across their network.
Who is covered? According to the policy, companies in the United States with 50 or more employees will need to meet the new requirement. It applies to the employees who do substantial work for Microsoft and take time off after the birth or adoption of a child. The requirement includes a minimum of 12 weeks paid parental leave and up to $1,000 per week in pay.
In Microsoft’s blog post about the parental leave policy requirement, certain points were highlighted:
- “Studies show that paid parental leave enriches the lives of families. Women who take paid maternity leave are more likely to be in the workforce a year later and earn more than mothers who do not receive paid time off.”
- Men “take paternity leave at twice the rate and for longer periods of time when the leave is paid. This increased bonding and time spent caring for young children is correlated with positive outcomes such as higher test scores for these children.”
- When “men and women have the opportunity to take paid leave, it can help counteract gender caregiving stereotypes, neutralize stigmas and promote equity in the home and office.”
- The Microsoft announcement comes as their headquarters state of Washington prepares to introduce family leave for their workers, the fifth state to do so
- Microsoft partners with over 1,000 firms across the United States with over half of those outside of the state of Washington
- According to the Society for Human Resource Management, just 12 percent of companies provide paternity leave benefits, as compared to 58 percent who provide maternity benefits
- The American Enterprise Institute warns that many firms cannot afford to provide these benefits
- Unlike other industrialized nations, federal law guarantees only 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for companies with 50 employees or more
- With limited protection in the United States, an estimated 25 percent of working mothers return to work after only two weeks, ready or not
- The new Microsoft parental leave policy for suppliers and partners is less generous than what Microsoft offers to their employees
Quest and Actions (Q&A):
- How does your company make a statement about an organizational value? Does the statement and policy impact employees and partners?
- In your values, how do you extend them to your friends, family, and community in a thoughtful way? Should you? How are they perceived and accepted?
- As an industrialized nation, do you believe the United States is a leader in setting meaningful standards and policies as compared to others?