Mark Zuckerberg says paid parental leave is: “good for the entire family”

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan are expecting a baby girl, and the Facebook founder took the opportunity to speak out about just how important paid parental leave is to mums, dads and their kids.

When Max was born, I took two months of paternity leave. I will always be grateful I could spend so much time with her…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Friday, 18 August 2017

“Grateful”

The BBC reports that the “US is the only developed nation in the world that does not provide some type of national paid family leave plan to new parents,” so Facebook’s vocal push for better leave provisions for families really matters.

Facebook offers four months of paid leave for new parents, with mums and dads getting the same rights to time off with their newborn. Mark says spending those early days with his first daughter Max confirmed just how special and valuable this time away from work is.

“When Max was born, I took two months of paternity leave. I will always be grateful I could spend so much time with her in the first months of her life,” Mark said in a recent Facebook update.

Bonding and adventures

The dad-of-two says he’ll be structuring his time off with family a little differently the second time around.

“Our new daughter is coming soon, and I’m planning to take two months of paternity leave again. This time, I’m going to take advantage of Facebook’s option to take leave in parts. I’ll take a month off to be with Priscilla and the girls at the beginning, and then we’ll spend the whole month of December together as well. I’m looking forward to bonding with our new little one and taking Max on adventures.”

“It’s good for the entire family”

The Facebook boss is keen to influence other US employers – and possibly President Trump – to lift their game when it comes to paid parental leave, noting that a family-friendly approach pays big dividends all ’round.

“Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, it’s good for the entire family. And I’m pretty sure the office will still be standing when I get back.”

He’s spot on regarding the research, because paid parental leave has been linked to better breastfeeding outcomes, better physical and mental health outcomes and increased job satisfaction for the mums and dads involved.

Families matter

Facebook has introduced other sensible leave entitlements too. Employees are entitled to 20 days paid leave when an immediate family member dies. They can also take up to 6 weeks paid leave to care for a sick relative. On top of that, Facebook just introduced an extra 3 days of paid leave for “family sick time” – so parents don’t use up all their own sick leave when their kids are ill.

Here’s hoping other US companies follow suit – and that Facebook continues to increase leave provisions in this family-friendly way.

In Australia, eligible parents can access a government funded paid parental leave scheme. It allows for a primary carer to receive 18 weeks pay at the averaged-out National Minimum Wage following the birth or adoption of a baby. 

Priscilla and I are happy to share we're expecting another baby girl!After our difficult experience having Max, we…

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, 9 March 2017

 

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