10 tech companies with generous parental leave benefits

Parental leave in the US leaves a lot to be desired. A 2017 survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that only 13% of private-industry employees had access to paid family leave (PFL) through their employer.

Currently, New York, California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island-with more states to follow-are the only states to offer Family Leave Insurance Program Provisions, which grant eligible employees paid leave for the arrival of a new child by birth, adoption, or foster care; however, there is no federal law requiring private-sector employers to offer PFL, making the US the only developed country in the world that does not offer the benefit to its citizens. Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), certain employees are allowed 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year, but only if their employer meets specific requirements.

Increasing parental benefits for mothers and fathers has been shown to have positive outcomes for the employees, their families, and their employers. According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, offering PFL to both men and women improves worker retention (reducing turnover costs for companies), increases worker productivity, improves employee loyalty and morale, and allows small businesses to compete with larger businesses. Additionally, women who take PFL work longer hours, on average, one to three years after returning to work, and have more opportunities for leadership positions. Offering PFL can also attract more workers, particularly Millennials, which can be especially helpful to tech companies searching for ways to draw new talent.

The following 10 tech companies provide amazing benefits to make being a working parent easier.

SEE: IT leader's guide to achieving workplace diversity (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Reddit

Reddit's parental leave policies are some of the best in the tech industry, and it boasts a nearly 100% return rate of new parents. A few years ago, the company changed its policies to emphasize flexibility and inclusivity. The perks include 16 weeks of paid leave for birth, adoptive, or foster parents; this applies to the mother or the father. Birth mothers receive an additional four months of fully paid disability leave so they can physically recover. These benefits can be utilized for up to one year after the arrival of the child and can be split up, as needed.

Other benefits include: Flexible time off after the arrival of the child, comfortable on-site breastfeeding rooms, reimbursement of breast milk delivery services (e.g., Milk Stork), a child care stipend for use after the parent returns to work, and access to Cleo, a female-founded company that offers parents 24/7 support and resources about early childcare development, a phone hotline, lactation consulting, night dulas, and even estate planning.

The benefits don't stop there; Reddit also provides adoption assistance and pays for egg freezing, fertility testing, and gene testing. The company has a resource library that offers tips for all things related to welcoming a new baby (or a "Snooling" as they're affectionately referred to by the company).

SEE: How egg-freezing is keeping more women in the tech industry: The inside story (TechRepublic)

Amazon

At Amazon, all employees have access to the same parental leave and benefits, regardless of job title. Birth mothers get 20 weeks of paid leave, while fathers and adoptive parents receive six weeks of paid parental leave; the paid leave can be taken continuously or split up as needed within 12 months of the child's birth or adoption. The company also offers Leave Share, which allows employees to "gift" their time to their partner, should their partner's employer not offer paid parental leave. The Ramp Back program allows parents to work a flexible schedule for up to eight weeks after the birth or adoption of a child.

All Amazon offices have Mothers' Rooms with hospital-grade breast pumps, locking doors, comfortable chairs, sinks, microwaves, and refrigerators. The company also offers adoption assistance in which employees can receive up to $5,000 to cover adoption and attorney fees, court costs, and travel costs for single child adoption, or up to $10,000 (a combined maximum) for a sibling adoption.

Additional benefits include: Reimbursement for breast milk shipping expenses, a MyAmbassadors Team that support parents while they are on leave, and covered fertility treatments, which include artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Microsoft

All employees, including subcontractors, are granted paid parental leave. Birth mothers are eligible for 20 weeks of paid leave; dads, adoptive parents, and foster parents are offered 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

Starting in January 2018, the company began offering assistance with fertility treatments; covered expenses include: Three fertility treatment cycles, genetic testing, and egg/embryo freezing and storage for up to four years. Microsoft also offers adoption assistance up to $10,000 per child, and covers some surrogacy-related expenses.

Additional perks include on-site New Mothers' Rooms for nursing and a Welcome Baby Box for newborns or new adoptions/placements that contains a blanket, onesie, letter from the company, and other gifts.

SEE: This is not your father's Microsoft (CNET)

IBM

According to the company's website, birth mothers receive up to 20 weeks of paid leave and fathers, partners, and adoptive parents are eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave, which can be taken anytime during the first year after the child's birth or adoption. IBM also reimburses employees up to $20,000 for adoption or surrogacy expenses, and through its Special Care for Children Assistance Plan provides reimbursement up to $50,000 for applicable services for children with mental, physical, or developmental disabilities.

The company also provides: Designated expectant mother parking spaces at IBM offices, breast milk delivery services for traveling mothers, discounts for childcare centers and after-school care programs, a range of maternity and mindfulness services, and flexible scheduling for parents who need time off to go to doctor's appointments, pick up kids from school, attend special events, etc.

SEE: IBM is the latest tech giant to extend parental leave (CNET)

Pinterest

At Pinterest, parents are offered 16 weeks of paid parental leave, and through its Gradual Return to Work program, receive four additional weeks when they can choose to work part-time, while still getting full-time pay to ease them back into their work routine.

The company offers other great benefits, including: Four IVF cycles, egg freezing, up to $5,000 for adoption assistance, up to $20,000 to cover costs associated with surrogacy, lactation consultant coverage and fully furnished lactation rooms in all offices, free Milk Stork delivery services, access to Cleo and Rethink services, at-home birth coverage, parent resource groups, on-site lending of children's books through BookTree, one year paid membership to Urbansitter, family-friendly events, and guest speakers who cover topics such as sleep training, estate planning, and more.

Adobe

Adobe offers mothers who have just given birth a total of 26 weeks of fully-paid time off, and all parents (including adoptive or foster) are given 16 weeks of paid time off. Additionally, employees can receive adoption and surrogacy assistance that reimburses employees up to $25,000 for eligible expenses. The company also provides up to 100 hours of backup childcare, fertility support, and breast milk transportation via Milk Stork for nursing mothers who may be away from home on business.

SEE: Adobe rolls out an extended paid leave program for new parents (CNET)

Netflix

Netflix is known for having an employee culture that embraces freedom, and its attitude toward parental leave is no different. The company's parental leave policy is: "Take care of your baby and yourself." Paid parental leave is flexible and generous, allowing parents to decide how much time off they need to care for and bond with their new child. The average leave time for parents is four to eight months, but some employees take up to one year. During their parental leave, employees can work a flexible schedule, part-time, or not at all, while still receiving their full-time pay.

Etsy

The company offers a 26 week, gender neutral parental leave policy. Etsy employees can also take advantage of the New Parent Support Credit where they can trade in up to 14 weeks of their parental leave in exchange for a cash payment, which provides greater flexibility for childcare options as they transition back to work. Also included are backup childcare services, state-of-the-art Mothers' Rooms in all offices, and a Parents Employee Resource Group.

Google

Benefits for Google employees in the US include 22-24 weeks of paid leave for mothers who give birth, and 12 weeks for non-birthing parents. Google also offers Mothers' Rooms in all of its offices, backup childcare, internal parent support groups, parent gurus, and peer mentoring from other parents.

Zillow

Zillow's benefits include 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave and eight weeks of fully paid parental leave. The company also provides: On-site rooms for nursing moms, free breast milk shipping, up to $5,000 in adoption assistance, and resources for caretakers.

Also see