Fancy 40 times more paid paternity leave than your mates? Join Facebook in Hong Kong

Social network’s upgraded policy puts rest of city’s private sector to shame.

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 December, 2015, 6:21pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 December, 2015, 6:21pm

Facebook’s updated policy on parental leave, which allows employees to take up to four months off with full pay, means that new fathers at the company’s Hong Kong office are now entitled to 40 times more paid paternity leave than their counterparts in the rest of Hong Kong’s private sector.

Men hired by private companies in the city are only able to claim three days’ paternity leave at 80 per cent of their usual pay, according to Hong Kong law.

Facebook’s move to extend the policy comes a week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly announced that he would be taking two months off after the birth of his first child.

Previously, employees at the company who are based in Hong Kong were entitled to four weeks off on full pay to stay at home and play dad.

Prior to the global roll-out of the policy, only employees of Facebook in the United States were entitled to take four months off without losing any salary.

“This expanded benefit primarily affects new fathers and people in same-sex relationships outside the US,” wrote Lori Matloff Goler, the company’s head of human resources, in an official Facebook post late last week.

“We want to be there for our people at all stages of life, and in particular we strive to be a leading place to work for families,” she added.

The company follows in the footsteps of other tech corporations such as Netflix, Spotify and Microsoft, which have ramped up similar policies for employees regardless of gender.

READ MORE: Hong Kong police ‘friend’ request: force launches Facebook page to overcome post-Occupy negativity

This is part of their moves to attract and retain top talent in an industry where long hours, complex challenges and, in many cases, international travel are increasingly viewed as incompatible with parenthood.

Netflix announced in August that it would be offering unlimited paid parental leave for up to one year following the birth or adoption of a child. Spotify said in November it would offer six months of paid parental leave to full-time employees globally.

In August, Microsoft announced that new mothers in the US are entitled to 20 weeks of paid leave. Those who adopt can claim up to 12 weeks off, also fully paid.

A report by the United States Department of Labor found that fathers who take over two weeks’ paternity leave are more engaged with their children and have more involvement in childcare activities than men who don’t.