Maternity leave is a constant hot button topic in the US. While some companies (like Amazon) have changed their policies to make the transition for new parents a little bit easier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a dismal 12 percent of Americans have access to paid maternity leave. Hoping to help facilitate a shift in the norm, Etsy has just announced some MAJOR improvements to their parental policy.

etsy paternal leave

Today, Etsy revealed on their blog that beginning in April, company employees are eligible for 26 weeks of fully paid leave when they become a parent through birth or adoption, regardless of their gender, country of residence or family circumstance. Currently, The Family and Medical Leave Act only requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave to workers with a new child. The length or even possibility of parental leave still remains up to individual employers. So, Etsy has essentially doubled the allotted amount of time legally required. Etsy employees must take at least eight of those weeks continuously within the first six months. The remaining 18 weeks can then be scheduled flexibly over two years’ time.

In the announcement Etsy explains that yes, they have reworked the benefits so as to remain competitive with the other tech giants offering an impressive parental leave policy. But they’re also making this change because they want to be a pioneer for a more realistic and livable standard. Etsy writes, “We want to support and enable parents, regardless of their gender, to play equal roles in building successful companies and nurturing their families. This fits squarely within Etsy’s mission to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.”

How does your company’s policy compare? Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)