Adobe Becomes Latest Tech Company to Extend Paid Time Off For New Parents

Adobe is the latest tech company to extend its paid parental leave policy after Netflix said it would offer corporate employees up to a year of paid leave to care for new babies.

San Jose-based Adobe Systems Inc. said Monday that it will offer parents who are the primary caregivers 16 weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. That's in addition to 10 weeks of paid medical leave following childbirth, so a new mother could take a total of 26 weeks off – up from the current nine weeks.

Non-primary caregivers will receive four weeks with full pay, up from two weeks previously. Adobe will also cover up to 4 weeks of family leave to care for a sick family member. The 10 weeks of medical leave that applies to childbirth is an increase from seven weeks.

Adobe defines primary caregiver as the parent who takes the main responsibility to care for a child during work hours. The non-primary caregiver is the other parent. So if a gay couple working at Adobe adopts a baby, one of them would get to take 16 weeks off and the other, four weeks, depending on who cares for the child during work hours.

The new policy applies to Adobe's 6,000 U.S. employees and takes effect Nov. 1. Adobe makes popular software such as Photoshop and Acrobat.

"Caring for yourself and your family at home helps you be your best at work. But in the U.S., government mandates for paid leave are currently slim to nonexistent,'' Donna Morris, senior vice president of people and places at Adobe, wrote in a blog post Monday. "That means companies must navigate the tough balance between supporting employees during major life events and meeting business goals. Too often, employees have not had the support they need.''

Technology companies looking to lure and keep top talent are sweetening the benefits they offer to highly sought-after workers. This includes perks such as free massages and meals, along with parental leave and vacation policies that go above and beyond the rest of corporate America.

Netflix announced last week that it is giving mothers and fathers paid leave for up to a year following the birth or adoption of a child. The company said the leave is "unlimited,'' meaning that parents can take as much or as little leave during this year as they would like. The new baby-benefit policy covers all of the roughly 2,000 people working at Netflix's Internet video and DVD-by-mail services, according to the Los Gatos, California, company.

Microsoft Corp. followed suit, saying it will offer 20 weeks of paid leave to new mothers, up from a current 12 weeks paid and eight weeks of unpaid leave. New fathers will get 12 paid weeks, instead of four paid and eight unpaid.

The U.S. and Papua New Guinea are the only countries among 185 nations and territories that don't have government-mandated laws requiring employers to pay mothers while on leave with their babies, according to a study released last year by the United Nations' International Labor Organization.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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