These Companies Have The Best Maternity Leave Policies

by Laura Hankin

It's no surprise that, when it comes to maternity leave, the United States is not exactly leading the world with the best policies. But where government has fallen short, certain private companies have stepped in to pick up the slack for some lucky employees. And these companies with the best maternity leave policies will make you want to polish your resume.

Netflix is often among the first companies mentioned when the subject of great parental leave comes up. The streaming giant allows both mothers and fathers to take off as much time as they need during the first year after a child is born or adopted, and parents still receive their full salaries and benefits. So the next time you feel a little guilty for binge-watching the entirety of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in a week, rest easier in knowing that the people who made it all possible are getting some amazing benefits. And then, I guess, start learning how to code, so you can hope to join their ranks?

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation also tops the list of great companies for new parents. Again, both mothers and fathers are covered for unlimited time off up to 52 weeks, whether the child was adopted or not. As the foundation's Chief Human Resources Officer Steven Rice said in a statement on LinkedIn,

Ultimately, our parental leave program is focused on healthier babies, parents who are able to thrive professionally, and strong and resilient families.

Meanwhile, according to Business Insider, Etsy offers 26 weeks of fully paid parental leave, while Adobe gives mothers 26 weeks and fathers 16 weeks. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Bank of America, Apple, and Paypal also have great policies that give new mothers (and sometimes fathers!) multiple months of paid leave.

And this time off isn't just another fun, lavish benefit that certain companies bestow on their employees, like fancy meals in the work cafeteria, or puppy parties, or free massages for employees. Tons of research shows that paid leave helps families in myriad ways. One study found that good maternal leave policies can reduce infant mortality by up to 10 percent. New mothers breastfeed longer, and have lower rates of depression. And when fathers get to take paternity leave, they are more involved with their children long-term. Yet despite all the benefits, the United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn't guarantee paid parental leave.

So polish those resumes and start applying to the companies listed above. Or start advocating for better parental leave policies for everyone. Isn't it about time?