Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will take time off from leading the social network so he can be with his newborn child.
In a Facebook
post on Friday, Zuckerberg wrote that he’s taking two months of paternity leave after his daughter is born. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced in July that they were expecting a baby girl.
“Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families,” said Zuckerberg. “At Facebook we offer our US employees up to 4 months of paid maternity or paternity leave which they can take throughout the year.”
Zuckerberg’s decision to take an extended paternity leave is sure to be seen as a major endorsement of the practice. Even at the executive level employees can be reluctant to take full advantage of leave policies for fear of retribution in the workplace.
Parental leave is a hot topic as of late with many big companies announcing new and more generous policies. Spotify said on Thursday that it would grant new parents six months of leave. In early November, Amazon
said it extended its parental leave policy to 20 weeks and that it would open it up to fathers as well as mothers.
In September, Nestlé kicked off a research project to track the attrition of employees who had taken parental leave. The idea was too see if people who took time off for new children stayed longer with the company, thereby proving that parental leave makes good business sense.
“We’ll be looking at whether or not the retention rates have changed over time, which we hope to be a positive outcome, and that success would encourage other companies to pile on and do this,” Paul Bakus, president of Nestlé corporate affairs, told Fortune in September.
Over the summer, Zuckerberg explained that Chan suffered three miscarriages, but she was far enough into her pregnancy this time that the “risk of loss is very low.”
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