Spotify’s New Parental Leave Policy Rocks

It’s no secret the United States lags woefully behind other countries when it comes to parental leave; however, thanks to companies like Spotify, we’re inching ever-so-slowly to where we should be.

Citing its home base of Sweden, which has extremely generous maternity and paternity leave, Spotify has announced it will offer six months of parental leave to all full-time employees globally, effective immediately.

The music company made the announcement in its New York offices with White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who noted the administration is pushing for a paid leave policy right now.

“The fact that the U.S. is the only developed country without a paid leave policy doesn’t make sense,” Jarrett said, emphasizing that leave increases worker productivity, as well as profitability, contrary to popular belief. “We really want to have a culture in our country were you can be a working parent and be productive at work.”

The leave will be available to all new parents at the company — including same-sex couples, as well as those who adopt and use surrogates — for the first three years of a child’s life. The company also said it would offer a month of flexible work options for those returning, including the ability to work from home, work part-time or take advantage of flexible hours.


“I think we can be a role model,” Daniel Ek, the company’s CEO, told the group, speaking from Sweden.

Although employees are not guaranteed their same exact job upon their return from leave, their role “will be commensurate with that employee’s current level of experience,” Spotify said in an FAQ it shared with HuffPost. Workers can also start their leave up to 60 days before the child arrives. Also known as “when the mom-to-be can no longer see her toes.”

In Sweden (bless them), parents get up to 480 days leave, and you can take it until your kids are eight years old, Katarina Berg, the company’s chief human resource officer, told the crowd.

Berg encouraged everyone in the room to tweet their support for paid leave, using #LeadOnLeave

Spotify, with its 1,600 employees, joins a growing group of mainly tech companies that have expanded the amount of leave on offer to workers, partly in an effort to attract workers as the market for tech talent heats up. Other companies that recently expanded leave include Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Adobe and Accenture. The Gates Foundation has also set the bar high, recently announcing they will offer up to 52 weeks of paid time-off for both mothers and fathers during the first years of a child’s birth or adoption.

The United States is currently one of only three nations in the world that offer exactly no paid leave to new parents. Which is just mind-boggling. As Jarrett noted, that puts us at a competitive disadvantage globally and doesn’t serve the American workplace, where more than 50 percent of workers are women. “Our strategy is to make the case for why this is important,” she said.

Here’s how we stack up:


Case. And. Point.


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