Spotify, the Swedish music streaming company, has announced it will offer all staff six months’ parental leave on full pay.
Permanent employees will be able to take the leave up to the child’s third birthday, and the policy will be backdated so anyone who have had children since the beginning of 2013 will qualify for the benefit.
Announcing the new policy, chief human resources officer Katarina Berg said: “This policy best defines who we are as a company, born out of a Swedish culture that places an emphasis on a healthy work/family balance, gender equality and the ability for every parent to spend quality time with the people that matter most in their lives.”
Berg added that the company wanted employees to feel comfortable taking the leave rather than be influenced by workplace expectations: “This is what differentiates Spotify from other companies, and why we believe employees all around the world will be comfortable (and expected) to take their full parental leave time with the support of their peers, managers and leaders.”
Sweden is well known for its generous parental leave policies; mothers or fathers can take up to 16 months between them to care for a child, and fathers must take two months’ leave, with plans to introduce a third.
Parents receive 80% of their salary while on leave, capped at a salary ceiling of around €4,000 (£2,900) per month. Spotify plans to pay 100% of salary for six months.
The company has also announced a “Welcome Back” programme, designed to ease returners back into their roles, for example through home-working or more flexible hours.