Microsoft tells suppliers it must provide parental leave

By James Henderson
Microsoft has told all companies involved in its supply chain that they must provide employees paid parental leave. Over the next 12 months Microsoft...

Microsoft has told all companies involved in its supply chain that they must provide employees paid parental leave.

Over the next 12 months Microsoft will work with its U.S. suppliers to implement this new paid parental leave policy. It will require that suppliers offer their employees a minimum of 12 weeks paid parental leave, 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 new policy applies to suppliers with more than 50 employees and covers supplier employees who perform substantial work for Microsoft. 

This minimum threshold applies to all of our suppliers across the U.S. and is not intended to supplant a state law that is more generous.

Microsoft will work with our suppliers to understand the impacts of this change, and we will make these changes in a thoughtful way, the company said in a statement. 

“We appreciate that this may ultimately result in increased costs for Microsoft, and we’ll put a process in place for addressing these issues with our suppliers. Our first step will be reaching out to our suppliers to discuss the impact of this policy change,” it said.

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“The case for paid parental leave is clear. Studies show that paid parental leave enriches the lives of families. Women who take paid maternity leave are more likely to be in the workforce a year later and earn more than mothers who do not receive paid time off. 

“Employers who offer paid time off for new mothers experience improved productivity, higher morale and lower turnover rates.

“And, paid parental leave is not solely a benefit for women.  Data from California’s paid family leave programme shows that men take paternity leave at twice the rate and for longer periods of time when the leave is paid.”

Just 13% of private sector workers in the U.S. have access to paid parental leave. And the lack of access to parental leave cuts broadly across professions – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22% of professional positions and 7 to 8% of workers in service and maintenance jobs have access to paid parental leave.

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