While Facebook already has a parental leave policy in place for its employees, which lets both parents (if both are working for Facebook) take four months of paid time-off, the social network company today announced that it was extending bereavement leave to give employees more time to grieve and recover and would now provide paid family leave so they could care of sick family members as well.
"There have been many times when I've been grateful to work at companies that supported families. When my son was born and I could take time off to focus on him. When my daughter came along and I got that time all over again." wrote Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook in a public post.
She added that every time one of her kids got sick, she and her husband Dave had the ability to leave work to take care of them. Then after her husband passed away and when her kids needed her more than ever, she was grateful to work for a company that provided bereavement leave and flexibility.
Advocating better work-life balance, Sandberg noted that people should be able to both work and be there for their families. No one should face this trade-off. She said,
We need public policies that make it easier for people to care for their children and aging parents and for families to mourn and heal after loss.
Sandberg said that companies that stand by the people who work for them do the right thing and the smart thing -- it helps them serve their mission, live their values, and improve their bottom line by increasing the loyalty and performance of their workforce. Sandberg estimated that about 60 percent of private sector workers in the US get paid time-off after the death of a loved one and usually just a few days.
Starting today, Facebook employees will have up to 20 days paid leave to grieve an immediate family member, up to 10 days to grieve an extended family member, and will be able to take up to six weeks of paid leave to care for a sick relative.
Facebook is also introducing paid family sick time – three days to take care of a family member with a short-term illness, like a child with the flu. This comes on top of other policies announced in 2015 to ensure that contractors and vendors are paid a minimum of $15 an hour, receive paid vacation and sick days, and receive income during parental leave. While thanking her colleagues Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and Lori Matloff Goler, Head of People for their leadership and support, she said,
Our workforce is by far our greatest asset— and we've seen again and again that being committed to our people makes our people more committed to Facebook.
While the Indian startup ecosystem has seen a lot of attrition with many high profile employees abandoning ship for other opportunities, companies like Flipkart, Microsoft India and others have extended measures like extended maternity leave for upto six months, and Flipkart also announced an adoption policy for employees.
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