Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Melinda Gates expresses (once again) her support for paid parental leave: will it translate into a change of policy to require Microsoft's suppliers to provide paid parental leave?

In the 2016 Gates Foundation annual letter co-written by Bill and Melissa she states: "studies show that when fathers are able to take time off from paid work when their children are born, they spend more time with their kids and doing other kinds of housework for years to come. As a result, they form a stronger bond with their partners and children. That’s one reason why I think access to paid family and medical leave is so important for families."
It's too bad that despite Melissa's concern, a concern we assume is shared by Bill, Microsoft has done nothing (yet?) to make sure its suppliers provide paid parental leave to their employees. Last year Brad Smith announced an 'at least 15 days of paid time off policy". This is an improvement from not one day but this policy does not take into account the needs of new parents as there is no provision for paid parental leave!!! Bill could do the right thing and convince Microsoft to require a paid parental leave policy for their suppliers employees. Another improvement in terms of paid family leave would be to require the suppliers to offer the same paid public holidays leave as Microsoft does. That would bring 12 additional paid days to the people working for Microsoft who need it the most (as they are usually much less paid). That would be practicing what they preach

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