The United States is pretty terrible when it comes to family leave—but it’s even worse for dads. Very few employers even provide paid parental leave for fathers. As Simon Isaacs, co-founder of Fatherly, told Business Insider, “This means a lot of new dads are not able to take time to bond with their babies and be at home with their families.” Isaacs is quick to add that paternity leave is not “time off.” “There is an increasing body of evidence,” he says, “behind the importance of father-child bonding beginning in the first few weeks… With more couples than ever sharing responsibilities at home, paternity leave is also important to support your wife or spouse.”
The conversation is happening, and hopefully, change is in the works. But in the meantime, Fatherly has compiled a sweet list of companies leading the charge. Here are some of the highlights, taking into account leave policies, flexible hours, and telecommuting options.
Netflix wins all the praise from Fatherly. And should have our respect anyway given their “Unlimited Vacation” policy. Their parental leave policy is stellar; parents (mothers and fathers) can take up to a full year of paid leave. They can also change their hours around to work as much or as little as they need at different times. And they can come in and out, go full-time, part-time, etc. and keep receiving their salaries as normal. As long as you do your job at Netflix, the company trusts you and takes care of you.
Second on Fatherly’s list is Etsy, giving its employees a gender-blind blanket 26 weeks of paid leave. You have to take the first six weeks consecutively (at the beginning, i.e. the first six months), but then you can spread the rest out over the course of two years (post birth or adoption) as needed. Their Brooklyn office also boasts dedicated parents’ rooms and a twice weekly communal meal called “Eatsy.”
Go Platinum with AmEx’s parental leave policy. First of all, if you adopt, undergo fertility treatment, or use a surrogate, you’re eligible for $35k in medical assistance. Then, you get 20 weeks of paid paternity leave. Then an additional 20 days of subsidized backup dependent care per year. Plus, at some of their office locations, you can take advantage of “Summer Flex” and compress your work weeks to maximize weekend time off with the fam.
You get 24 weeks of paid paternity leave with no restrictions on how to use it—until your kid’s third birthday. (You even get this retroactively as a new recruit if you come in with a child under three.) Their “Welcome Back” program lets your return gradually to full-time status with the added bonus of telecommuting options. And they have a Dad-centric “Focus on Fatherhood” group with activities, programming, and networking breakfasts with top execs giving advice about work/life balance.
Facebook offers $20k in family planning benefits for fertility treatments, egg freezing, surrogacy, etc. Then 17 weeks paid leave, plus the standard 21 days of PTO and unlimited sick days, including an additional three days per year for “taking care of sick dependents.” If your kid gets the flu, take the day off, then log into Dads@Facebook (the company’s online dad space) for advice.
Twitter is more like Netflix than Facebook, in that there is no PTO policy. Do your job well and take all the time you need otherwise. They’ve just doubled their paid paternal leave to 20 weeks. And they have great company perks, including a prep class for Dads about to go on leave to help in the transition.
7. VMware, Inc.
This company offers $5k to help with adoption or surrogacy ($10k lifetime limit), a $250 “Welcome Baby” gift, and 18 weeks paid paternity leave. And they have a non-accrued vacation policy to let you shape your own time off—as long as you’re delivering good work.
8. Bank of America
Bank of America offers a lot of support to new parents: a Welcome Kit, free financial planning, Lifecare advice and assistance, and 16 weeks paid paternity leave. You also get a 25-day backup child care allotment and a 25-day adult care allotment for when a caregiver is not available.
Fathers at Patagonia get 12 weeks paid leave to be used at any time before the child’s first birthday. They have a great work-life balance reputation, and are very concerned with employees and their children thriving. There are lots of ways they help a new family get set up, including FSAs and stipends.
You’re eligible for paternity leave from day one of your employment, to the tune of 16 paid weeks. They offer child-care coverage and reimbursement, and employees get an average of 40 paid days off per year regardless. Managers here won’t track time off either. So do your work, and get your life in order without stress.