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Yet another tech giant expands parental leave

August 10, 2015, 3:18 PM UTC
CA: Companies In California
A logo sign at the headquarters of software maker Adobe Systems in San Jose, California, on December 31, 2014. Photo Credit: Kristoffer Tripplaar/ Sipa USA *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***
Photograph by Kris Tripplaar — Sipa USA/AP

Software maker Adobe Systems is the latest tech firm to expand its family leave programs, a move that comes after Netflix and Microsoft made similar changes.

Among other tweaks, Adobe is now offering up to 26 weeks of paid time off for new mothers through a combination of medical and parental leave. Adobe previously allowed between eight and 26 weeks of time, depending on location.

Adobe is additionally promising 16 weeks of paid time off for primary caregivers. That’s an increase from the company’s prior benefit of up to 12 weeks of time off, with two weeks of it paid.

The company’s new leave programs go into effect November 1 for full-time workers in the U.S.

“Our employees are our intellectual property and our future,” said Donna Morris, senior vice president People & Places, Adobe. “The investment is unquestionably worth it.”

The changes at Adobe and other technology companies may reflect changing social attitudes around parental leave, especially for fathers. While nine out of ten American fathers take some time off work for the birth or adoption of a child, Labor Department survey data found 70% of fathers take 10 days of leave or less. And because many families can’t afford to take unpaid time off, many families are restricted by just how generous their employers are when it comes to paid leave.

Earlier this month, Netflix announced it would allow employees to take unlimited maternity or paternity leave during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption. A day later, Microsoft followed suit by also extending its paternal leave offerings.

And while the Netflix offer in particular looks generous — especially considering the U.S. doesn’t require employers to offer paid leave to new parents — Fortune noted that open-ended time-off options often leaves employees confused and possibly at risk of being passed over for promotions.