Netflix offers parents the ultimate baby bonus
VIDEO streaming firm Netflix has unveiled what is thought to be the most generous parental leave policy of any major US business, offering new mothers and fathers unlimited paid leave for the first year after having a child.
The policy will apply to parents of newborns and adoptees.
The California-based company has allowed its employees unlimited paid holiday since 2004, to help foster a culture of ''freedom and responsibility'', wrote Netflix chief talent officer Tawni Cranz.
The new policy gives parents ''the freedom to make their own decisions along with the accompanying responsibility,'' Ms Cranz said, adding: ''Experience shows people perform better at work when they're not worrying about home.''
The firm's expanded leave outstrips generous packages offered by other Silicon Valley firms such as Yahoo!, which doubled its paid leave for maternity and paternity in 2013 to 16 weeks for mothers and eight for fathers.
Google has said that when it increased its paid maternity leave from 12 to 18 weeks, the rate of new mothers leaving halved.
The news has been welcomed as a sign of the tech industry maturing.
Silicon Valley workers, previously content with perks such as free gourmet food and table football, are growing up, having children and demanding employers account for the shifting priorities of their workforce.
Last week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 31, announced he and his wife Priscilla Chan are expecting their first child.
The social networking firm offers new mothers and fathers four months of paid parental leave and a $4,000 ''baby cash'' bonus.
The US is the only nation in the developed world not to mandate paid maternity leave for workers.
Federal law guarantees new parents 12 weeks of unpaid leave, though only at companies with 50 or more employees.
This year President Barack Obama ordered federal agencies to offer their employees six weeks of paid parental leave.
In his January State of the Union address, Mr Obama said: ''It's time we stop treating child care as a side issue or a women's issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is.''