back to article Techies told to GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY by Microsoft, Netflix

Two technology industry titans have discovered that starting a family is rather time-consuming and costly, responding with policies that offer decent incentives to go forth and multiply. Netflix set the ball rolling – ahem – with its Tuesday announcement of a policy allowing “an unlimited leave policy for new moms and dads …

  1. Nameless Dread

    Words and their meanings

    Seem to remember Woody Allen commenting that, when accosted by some undesirables, "I told them to go forth and multiply, but not in those exact words ... "

  2. Charles Manning

    A loophole

    I suspect this might be a loophole for the quota people: mum goes of on "unlimited leave" for 10 years to raise her family. Since she stays on the books she will still be counted as a female employee and keep the "we employ lots of females" box ticked.

    Bloody genius.

    1. Law

      Re: A loophole

      Lets take something they've done that is nice for once (paid leave for both parents the first year of a childs life) and turn it into a cynical (possibly sexist) comment about sexism in the tech industry.

      Good work.

      1. Captain Underpants

        Re: A loophole


        I was thinking the same thing. The inherent assumption that only mums will actually take advantage of this and thus become an unavailable resource to the company is interesting (and, for my limited set of experience, inaccurate).

      2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: A loophole

        "Lets take something they've done that is nice for once (paid leave for both parents the first year of a childs life) and turn it into a cynical..."

        If you really think it will work as advertised, I've got a bridge for sale. Bosses will undoubtedly frown on any of their people taking maximum advantage of these policies, rewarding such behavior with poor performance reviews.

  3. dajames Silver badge

    Rather sad

    What about employees who want to be able to take time off for other reasons? What if an employee wants to spend six months helping dig wells in African villages, or to take some time to cycle around the world, or have a fortnight off to sit in front of the TV and watch Wimbledon?

    I find the suggestion that it's OK to go off an add to the population of an already overcrowded world, but not to have time for any other "personal project" rather sad.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Rather sad @dajames

      I'll bite.

      Population maintenance in developed countries is a problem, especially in the higher demographics. Many high achievers do not procreate sufficiently, possibly leading to a Darwinian decline in the aggregated capability of the population as a whole. Add to this the fact that the right to a found a family is article 16 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whereas slobbing out in front of the telly is not listed.

      And, <contentious_statement>I think that digging wells for villages in Africa, to increase health and thus reproductive viability of the people there will probably have a greater effect on world population than taking time of to have your 2.4 kids.</contentious_statement>

      Be careful what examples you use!

      Footnote: For the sake of my down-vote count, I completely believe that keeping people alive in a sustainable manner is better than allowing them to die, however...

  4. Martin an gof Silver badge


    Without seeing the detail of the deal, isn't this the sort of thing that employees in more enlightened nations than the US have been legally entitled to for many, many years? That said in the UK the statutory pay arrangements aren't quite so generous.

    Are normal salaries in the US significantly higher than those in the UK, enough to cover for things like lack of the NHS and the need to save up to cope with unpaid leave?


  5. A K Stiles

    Paid Time-off

    A slight aside, but I recently discovered during a conversation with my cousin in Australia that he gets an annual holiday allowance, which he can accumulate year on year and then use it to take a long (like 3 months) break whereas, in the UK, I've only ever experienced the annual "here's your x amount of holiday for the year, use it in the next 12 months or lose it" (with the occasional caveat of being able to carry a few days into the next year). Not sure if this is an Australian thing or just the company he works for being quite flexible but it seems like a good deal, and if you plan for having a family far enough in advance...

    1. Jagged

      Re: Paid Time-off

      The limit to what you can carry over in the UK is, I believe, part of statutory employment law. My previous employer used to allow you to carry as much over as you liked, but had to change it. I believe there are some stats that support the idea is that its healthier to take time of every year. Meh!

      Mind you, they also use to let us cash ours in. Did that a lot ;)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    personal experience

    This gets them roughly to Germany, at least on parental leave. A good precedent. Read (possible paywall)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I believe also at Microsoft (at least in the US) every 5 years an employee is allowed to take 2 months sabbatical.

    1. midcapwarrior

      After 2 years you can submit for up to 12 weeks of personal leave. It's not a guaranteed benefit as it's at the companies sole discretion.. Sabbatical is for senior leadership types not the plebes.

  8. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    If I get a job with one of these companies will they also find me somebody with whom to go forth with?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Melinda Gates.

  9. Lynrd

    in other news...

    Amazon has announced that they will be moving to lighter weight ankle shackles for their developers

  10. Spaceman Spiff

    But you cannot multiply if you cannot divide! Otherwise, how are you going to get two of you?

  11. VeganVegan


    a b *

  12. ScottAS2
    Thumb Up

    Gender inequality is often parenthood inequality

    Kudos to both companies for giving these advantages equally to both mothers and fathers. Much of the "gender" pay gap can be explained by the fact that women are societally expected to be the main child carer, and reducing the economic incentives to perpetuate that can only be a good thing.

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