life

Parental Leave at Jana

Baby feet

Ugh, baby feet. Am I right?

A little over a year ago, before starting at Jana, my wife had our first baby. As a new father, I didn’t know what those first weeks would be like, but I wanted to be involved as much as possible. I was able to stay home for about 3 weeks before transitioning back into work part time. Having the opportunity to stumble through those early hours, figuring it all out day-by-day has meant the world to me. I was able to bond with my son and give my wife a chance to occasionally rest. I spent a fair amount of those moments extremely sleep deprived and slightly panicked, but they were precious and important to me.

Welcoming a new member into your family is simultaneously one of the most beautiful and frightening moments of a parent’s life. At Jana, we’ve recently overhauled our paternal leave policy to make it easier for our team members to take the time they need to focus on their growing families.

I will get into some details and thoughts on it, but here’s our intentionally simple policy: any new parent of a child may take up to 8 weeks paid parental leave.

 

Father and Son

Please, please sleep.

 

I am really proud of this policy for a few reasons!

Flexibility

You’re free to take your leave as consecutive days, but it doesn’t have to be. You can overlap your leave with your partner’s for maximum coverage, or do something like I did and return to work on a limited basis. Whatever you need, we’re glad to support you.

Supporting all families equally

Families come in all forms and we want to support them all. Our policy includes all families. Whether it’s through an employee or their partner’s pregnancy, adoption, surrogacy or something else.

Equality in leave for birthing and non-birthing partners

Our policy has the same amount of leave for birthing and non-birthing partners. Providing non-birthing partners the opportunity to play a major, or primary role in early child care, takes away the implication that a mother will by default be staying home. We don’t want to make the decision for you by inadvertently favoring a traditional situation, because that’s none of our beeswax.

Finding the right fit for our business

I know some people reading this might be thinking, “big whoop – Netflix offers unlimited parental leave,” but we’ve spent a lot of time making sure our policy reflects our values in a responsible way. We ran the numbers and interviewed employees. We found that 8 weeks was a good balance between generous and sustainable.

Thanks for reading my post about parental leave and letting me take a stroll down memory lane. I made it through this whole thing without crying once!

If you want to work with people that make thoughtful and supportive decisions about policies like this, check out http://jana.com/careers.

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