Microsoft announced on Thursday, Aug. 30 in a blog post that they will begin requiring their suppliers to offer employees a minimum 12 weeks paid parental leave with up to $1000 per week. This new parental leave policy will apply to new biological and adopted parents working on Microsoft accounts at companies with more than 50 employees.
“We have long recognized that the health, well-being and diversity of our employees helps Microsoft succeed. That’s why we provide industry-leading benefits for our employees…” said Dev Stahlkopf, general counsel at Microsoft, in the post. “We also know that we rely on a wide array of other companies to supply us with goods and services that reflect their core competencies, and that the people who work for our suppliers also are critical to our success.”
This new parental leave policy, which the company estimates will take about a year to roll out, is an extension of its 2015 requirement that suppliers offer a minimum of 15 days of annual paid time off. Both announcements also included a statement saying that many of the company’s suppliers already offer strong benefits packages.
The announcement also noted that it will be assisting suppliers in meeting these new requirements and that they are aware that this may come at a cost to them.
The blog post announcement, which was credited to Stahlkopf, included information on the benefits of paid parental leave as well. According to a report by the Institute For Women’s Policy Research, paid maternal leave results in higher productivity and morale as well as a lower turnover rate. According to a Department of Labor policy brief, paid paternal leave can result in higher test scores for children.
This is also an opportunity to combat gender norms and stereotypes according to Microsoft. The company believes that this policy will help counteract gender caregiving stereotypes and promote equity in both the home and office.