First Netflix, Now Adobe Say Personal Lives Matter

After Netflix’s recent announcement that it will grant all new parents up to a year of unlimited paid leave time, Adobe became the latest high-visibility business to declare that Personal Lives Matter. The company just announced that it will offer parents who are the primary caregivers 16 weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. That’s in addition to 10 weeks of paid medical leave following childbirth, so a new mom or dad could take a total of 26 weeks off with pay after welcoming a new baby.

New parents who aren’t the primary caregiver will receive four weeks with full pay. The Netflix policy is far more generous; it makes no distinction between who is a primary caregiver, you just have to be a new parent to qualify.

These moves could be seen as proactive, since many states – especially what I call the “New Labor Vanguard” states along the West Coast — are moving to make expanded family and parental leave not just a protected right, but mandating extended pay and benefits as well.

If you’re running a business that relies heavily on a professional-level workforce, this trend could be troublesome when calculating labor costs, requiring some upward adjustment.

Freelancers suddenly look more attractive in this environment.

As these trends spread to other parts of the country,  you may want to take a closer look at using independent contractors for some key functions. Although contractors cost more up front, it’s because they’re required to cover their own benefits, vacations and family leave from the fees they charge. However, those costs are fixed based on whatever contract terms you’ve negotiated – changes in public policy won’t affect the rate you pay. If your contractor has a baby, she will probably be glad to help you find a pinch hitter to help with the heavy lifting until she can resume work – and because she’s missing the income, she’ll be motivated to resume as soon as it makes practical sense for her to do so….not when the calendar tells her that paid leave time is up.

Now may be the time to participate more fully as an employer in the Freelance Economy. Graphite has a boatload of talented professionals who are happily providing their top-tier talents through an on-demand model. Browse our professionals today.

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