Parental leave has been one of the most talked about things in the world for a long time. This is mostly because most employees didn’t seem to benefit from these policies. Since 2016, big tech companies around the world have been changing their policies to go beyond what the government requires.
The goal was to make sure that their employees not only had more time off before and after having a baby, but that their time off was also fully paid.
In 2018, Recode did a survey that found that the world’s biggest tech companies give their employees great benefits when it comes to parental leave. Netflix comes in first with 52 weeks of paid parental leave for both new moms and their partners after birth or adoption. Microsoft and Airbnb come in second and third with 22 weeks of paid maternity leave, respectively (12 weeks and 10 weeks of non-birth parent paid leave, respectively).
Amazon is in fifth place, right behind Twitter (20 weeks for both parents), with 20 weeks of paid maternity leave and 6 weeks of paid leave for non-birth parents. As of April 2020, Amazon is expected to have a huge 935,000 employees around the world, all of whom can now take advantage of its new parental leave policy.
Goodbye to Two-Tier Benefits
One important thing to note about this new policy is that the e-commerce giant gives all of its full-time workers, including hourly workers, the same parental leave benefits right now. This is different from the old policy, which said that only high-paid employees like software developers and executives could enjoy the perks. Now, all Amazon warehouse workers who get paid by the hour can take advantage of the new benefits.
The change Amazon made to the two-tier system may be one of the best things the company has ever done. It cares a lot about the health and happiness of all of its workers, whether they are well-paid software developers or hourly workers in operations and logistics.
Benefits for Both Parents
Amazon gives all of its full-time employees who work more than 30 hours a week paid parental leave. There are 20 weeks of paid maternity leave for new moms, and 4 of those weeks can be taken before the baby is born. After that, they can take up to 16 weeks off and get paid for the whole time. Also, new fathers who work at Amazon are entitled to 6 weeks of paid non-birth parent leave, even if their partners work at another company. This policy on paternity leave also covers Amazon employees who have adopted a child.
The “Leave Share” program is one way that Amazon is different from other companies when it comes to parental leave. Through this program, their employees can share their parental leave with their partners, as the name suggests. This is especially helpful for people whose partners don’t get paid parental leave from their jobs. Not sure what to do? Let’s show you by way of example.
Aaron Toso, who works for Amazon as a PR specialist, took two weeks off when his wife, Meghan, gave birth to their daughter in September 2016. His wife, who doesn’t work at Amazon and doesn’t get paid maternity leave, took the last four weeks of his parental leave. Amazon paid Toso’s full salary while he was away for two weeks. Meghan was paid the same amount during her four-week leave, even though she did not work for Amazon.
Toso said in an interview that his wife didn’t have to worry about getting back to work quickly because of Amazon’s great new policy on parental leave. He also said that the benefit helped them a lot because they wanted to spend time as a family with their new baby, especially in the first few months of her life.
In fact, hourly warehouse workers were in mind when “Leave Share” was made. After hearing from a number of focus groups, Steve Winter, Amazon’s HR director, and Jeff Bezos, the company’s CEO, started to think about how they could improve the experience of new parents at the company and give them and their partners a chance to rest.
“Ramp Back” Program
The ‘Ramp Back‘ initiative is another feature of Amazon’s new parenting policy that sets it apart from the competition. This program allows new parents of any gender to participate in up to 8 weeks of flexible work schedules and reduced work hours.
The ‘Ramp Back’ concept benefits both Amazon and its hourly warehouse workers since new parents will be better rested and prepared to return to work. That physical and mental relaxation will have a positive impact on the company’s overall success since staff morale will not be affected, resulting in improved job efficiency. Furthermore, Amazon stands to get a stronger image for taking excellent care of its employees’ wellness.
With the change of its parental policy, Amazon developed a group of roughly 40 HR personnel who act as ‘parent ambassadors,’ assisting new parents in staying in the loop with everything business-related while on parental leave. These ambassadors will stay in touch with them until they are ready to return to work.
This is just another excellent perk that all Amazon full-time employees may enjoy when it comes to parental leave, and another reason why the Seattle-based e-commerce giant stands out from other large tech businesses when it comes to benefits for its full-time employees.