Marissa Mayer announces up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave for Yahoo! employees

Yahoo! chief executive Marissa Mayer has announced up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave, along with other benefits, for employees of tech giant.

According to Reuters, under the new policy both mothers and fathers will gain eight weeks of fully-paid parental leave, along with a $US500 ‘baby bonus’ for expenses including child care and laundry.

Women who give birth to a baby are also eligible for an additional eight weeks leave, for a total of 16 weeks of leave.

Previously, the company’s leave policy in the US varied between states, with six weeks leave being the average.

However, the policy remains less generous than some of Yahoo’s Silicon Valley rivals, with Facebook offering 16 weeks leave to both parents and $4,000 cash, while Google offers new mothers  between18 and 22 weeks of paid leave.

The move comes after the company controversially announced it would no longer allow its employees to work from home in February of this year.

As SmartCompany reported at the time, the move surprised some Silicon Valley vets who are accustomed to using technology for flexible workplaces, with some critics claiming the move would make life more difficult for new parents.

“Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings,” Jackie Reses, Yahoo’s head of HR, reportedly said in a memo at the time.

“Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

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