Richard Branson has established a new work policy for Virgin Management, under which both women and men can get fully paid parental leave for a whole year.
The policy is only applicable to employees who have worked for the company for four years or more. Employees who have worked for less than two years will only get 25 percent of their salary.
Reports indicate that those restrictions make approximately 140 employees in Geneva and in the UK eligible for the full-year of fully paid parental leave.
Branson explained this policy by saying that, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.”
He acknowledged that his experiences as a father (and grandfather) give him an understanding of “how magical the first year of a child’s life is, but also how much hard work it takes.”
Many are praising this policy because, regardless of its restrictions, it is moving in the right direction toward beating the ‘parent vs. profession’ mentality.
This mentality allows men to be criticized or viewed negatively for leaving work if they have a newborn at home. It also allows women to face discrimination for taking time off to care for their children.
New policies that encourage (or require) parental leave for both men and women can help decrease these social issues and can help society move in a positive direction towards gender equality.
In fact, we think that it is time for the U.S. to step up and join this workplace movement. How about you?