Microsoft Demands Suppliers Expand Paid Parental Leave Policies

August 30, 2018, 2:21 PM UTC

Over the next year, the company announced Thursday in a blog post, it will work with suppliers to encourage them to implement a paid parental leave policy. Companies that want to work with the Redmond, WA-based giant will be required to offer employees a minimum of 12 weeks paid parental leave, paying up to $1,000 per week.

“This change applies to all parents employed by our suppliers who take time off for the birth or adoption of a child,” the company said.

The new policy applies to any supplier with more than 50 employees who performs “substantial work” for Microsoft. (The company did not define what it meant by substantial.) The company said the decision was prompted by new parental leave legislation that will take effect in Washington in 2020.

“As we looked at this legislation, … we realized that while it will benefit the employees of our suppliers in Washington state, it will leave thousands of valued contributors outside of Washington behind,” the company said. “So, we made a decision to apply Washington’s parental leave requirement more broadly, and not to wait until 2020 to begin implementation.”

In 2015, Microsoft expanded its own paid leave, offering 12 paid weeks to new parents, with mothers having the option to add another eight unpaid weeks to that leave. The company also let parents decide if they wanted to take their leave all at once or split it into two chunks. That moved followed Netflix’s decision to offer unlimited paid leave to new parents for the first year of their child’s life.