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 ... "
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 …
"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.
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.
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...
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?
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...
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 ;)
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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