Microsoft expands parental leave, improves 401(k) plan

A day after Netflix announced it would extend parental leave for its American employees, Microsoft is following suit.

Currently, Microsoft provides eight weeks of fully paid maternity disability leave for new mothers, plus 12 weeks of parental leave for all parents of new children, of which four are paid and eight unpaid.

Read: Netflix offers U.S. workers paid maternity, paternity leave

Starting in November, the company is enhancing its paid parental leave to 12 weeks, paid at 100%, for all mothers and fathers of new children.

“For birth mothers, this is in addition to the eight weeks of maternity disability leave they currently receive, paid at 100%, enabling them to now take a total of 20 weeks of fully paid leave if they choose,” writes Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s executive vice-president, human resources, in a blog post.

The company will also offer birth mothers an expanded opportunity to use short-term disability leave “during the two weeks prior to their scheduled due date to manage the physical impact that often comes with late pregnancy and to prepare for the upcoming birth.”

Eligible parents will also have the option to take their leave either in one continuous 12-week period or split into two periods. These parents will also have the option to phase back into work on a half-time basis.

In 2016, the company will increase its 401(k) match from 50% of the first 6% that employees defer, to 50% of all regular deferrals.

Employees will have the opportunity for Microsoft to match their contributions up to US$9,000 per year.

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