New Moms at Yahoo Get 16 Weeks PAID Maternity Leave & We’d All Love Some of That

newbornAfter all the fuss about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's five-second maternity leave and total ban on working from home, she made some shocking news today. Yahoo will double its paid maternity leave from 8 weeks to 16. That's 16 PAID weeks for parental leave. Dads will get eight weeks of paid leave.

Just to put this in perspective, Google employees get 18 to 22 paid weeks, and at Facebook, moms and dads get 4 months. New Yahoo parents also get $500 to go toward related costs. But still, can you imagine getting a perk like that? I think parents would be more likely to take that leave if it were paid.

It's great that we have laws that protect our jobs (well, full-time jobs, in most cases) when we need to take time off after giving birth or adopting. But I've heard so many women say that even though they knew they were entitled to those 12 weeks, they just couldn't afford it. Paid maternity is still all too rare. Even when it is paid, it's often just a fraction of your salary and based on seniority. I've known women who get partially-paid maternity leave come back early because they still couldn't afford the temporary pay cut.

Imagine if everyone got paid parental leave. If you didn't have to choose between bonding with your child and putting food on the table. Would you be more likely to take that time off after a baby? Would you be more likely to take the full leave?

And then, what if everyone actually TOOK that parental leave just because they could? Imagine what a difference it would make. You'd probably take fewer sick days because you'd be fully recovered from your pregnancy. (Hey, some of us NEED to recover. I sure did.) There'd be a little bit less worry about money, which means we'd be less stressed out in general. More moms might give breastfeeding a chance. Our kids might be healthier, too.

We're a long way from that vision, but Mayer's latest move brings us closer to the possibility.

Would you take your full maternity leave if it were paid?

 

Image via amrufm/Flickr

maternity leave, newborns, work, back-to-work

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Lovea... Loveavision

Wow, any kind of paid maternity leave would be awesome. We're really struggling, even after 7 months of saving. Oh, in a perfect world!

Sirena Robinson

I own my  own law firm and my husband is my only "employee", so when we have another one, I'll just work my schedule so I'll only be out of the house a couple hours at a time for the first few months. It's also much less nerve wracking when I only have to leave a baby with my husband or my mother. I am extraordinarily lucky to have such a wonderful, close family that allows me to continue to work. My husband would bring our daughter to me during the day, and I took my pump everywhere I went so it didn't affect my ability to breastfeed. I know I have it better than 99% of women, though, and believe me, I do NOT take it for granted. If I ever get to the point that I hire anyone, maternity leave is at the top of the list. But you don't get rich being a court appointed lawyer.

LoriA... LoriAnn87

OWOW I wish I had that when I was on leave with my second son. I only got 8 weeks and the only pay that came in was my husband pay check because my tempory dislbity didn't come in until a week before i went back to work.

MamaC... MamaCatShively

I was in the same boat at LoriAnna with my first as far as my short term check arriving just before my return to work but at the time my husband I had AFLAC for just that reason and it was amazing.  I also have about 5 weeks of vacation and sick time to use too.  This time around I have almost a month of vacation and sick time and then I get short term which will pay for the entire 12 weeks after a two week grace period so that is really nice.  It's only 70 percent of what I make but without insurance coming out and no school or daycare to pay for it won't hurt us at all.  I would kill for the kind of paid time these large companies offer though.  It's the best way to keep good people.

nonmember avatar Melissa

I assume the childfree women are also granted this same luxury once a year? There is recovery time necessary for new parents, but don't pretend like it was out of your control. It is your responsibility to save up days off, not expect your boss to give you special treatment, make the childfree take on your work, and rob them of their time off because they decided that reproducing wasn't the most important thing in the world.

Miche... MichelleNYC

it would be nice to pay employees for 12+ weeks of them not actually doing any work, but who is paying for all the lost productivity? 

amazz... amazzonia

Finally a step towards the right direction! I hope more and more companies will do the same! Melissa, birth of babies should be protected, you know, no mor mother birthing for working problems, means no mor babies, that means no more adults, it goes towards humanity guarantee welfare to birthing mothers!

nonmember avatar kim

In Australia we get 12 months paid maternity leave. Its normal here.

nonmember avatar Kate

Did you know that Canada had 40 weeks of mat leave? And Dads get the same.

MsRkg MsRkg

I had 28 weeks paid maternity leave through my employer. They know the value of treating their employees right. I didn't even use the full 28 weeks, I used about 10 and then went back on a part-time basis. We have a no-hour workday so I was even able to work from home.

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