Microsoft to require paid parental leave for all workers, even subcontractors

Workers must be offered a minimum of 12 weeks paid time off.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
Microsoft logo on sign in front of steel and glass buildings.
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Microsoft will require that everyone it works with, including people who work with the tech giant through a supplier, be offered paid parental leave.

Suppliers with more than 50 employees will have to give their workers a minimum of 12 weeks paid parental leave, at up to $1,000 per week, Microsoft said in a blog post Thursday. The requirement will go into effect over the next 12 months across the US.

Employers who've offered paid parental leave to new mothers have experienced improved productivity, higher morale and lower turnover rates, Microsoft said in the post. Fathers will also be given paid parental leave, as this helps children achieve more, and it counteracts "gender caregiving stereotypes," Microsoft said.

Other tech companies have also implemented paid parental leave. Last year, IBM extended its parental leave from 14 to 20 weeks. In 2015, Netflix started offering "unlimited" paid time off to employees during their first year as new parents. The same year, Facebook said it would start offering four months of paid parental leave to new parents.

Microsoft declined to comment beyond the blog post.

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