By now you’ve probably heard that Mark Zuckerberg plans to take two months off following the birth of his baby girl. That may sound like a generous chunk of time, especially for a dad, but that’s half of what the Facebook co-founder and CEO could have carved out, per his company’s parental leave policy.
The world’s most popular social network recently announced the expansion of its four-month “paid baby leave” to full-time employees outside of the U.S., regardless of their gender. The augmented benefit, already available to Facebook’s full-time stateside workers, will chiefly impact new fathers and partners in same-sex relationships, Facebook’s head of human resources Lori Matloff Goler recently said on her Facebook wall. The optional leave can be taken any time throughout the year following a child’s birth or adoption.
“In reviewing our parental leave policies, we have decided to make this change because it's the right thing to do for our people and their families,” Goler said. She casually cited improved “outcomes” for children whose parents take time out to be with them when they’re newborns, just as Zuckerberg, whose wife, Priscilla Chan, 30, is expecting in the coming weeks, also recently noted on his wall.
For Zuckerberg's part, the father-to-be says he’s getting ready to be a parent by stocking up on baby gear, which includes his and his wife’s favorite childhood books and toys. The 31-year-old self-made billionaire called taking paternity leave upon the arrival of his firstborn a “very personal decision.” Clearly, it’s one he can afford to make.
Facebook joins a long list of big-name global tech firms to significantly beef up their parental leave offerings for full-time employees in recent months, including Netflix. The streaming leader set a new standard last Fall, when it announced unlimited paid time off for new parents during their first year of parenthood.