Making Strides in Family Leave at Very
Very is an incredibly welcoming place to work with a lot to offer. We’re a remote-first company, with employees working all across the United States, we offer generous healthcare coverage and 401K matches. These things were purpose-built to create a work environment to support our team over the long term.
But up until recently we also had some important things left undefined — things like a parental leave policy. And while some companies may see just another policy needing to be written, we saw an opportunity to craft something unique.
Designing Our Family Leave Policy
We didn’t have a well-defined parental leave policy for a simple reason: no one was asking for one. But we’re trying to attract more women into a male-dominated field and to our company, and creating a competitive maternity leave policy is an important step toward that goal.
But maternity leave is only half of the equation. We also wanted our policy to support fathers for two important reasons. First, research shows that taking paternity leave has long-term benefits for children. Secondly, paternity leave is good for women’s careers (yes, you read that right).
A recent study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found that countries with mandatory maternity leave didn’t have more women on corporate boards. But countries with more generous paternity leave did. The reason? New mothers with spouses who can take leave have more support at home and shoulder less of the burden of parenthood.
“More gender-neutral family leave… would also cut off the expectation by employers that young men will necessarily provide greater returns to training and mentoring than young women,” the report says.
While we’re not able to offer gender-blind parental leave, we did want to account for these factors when drafting our family leave policy.
Our Family Leave Policy
Maternity Leave — Birth
Women at Very may take up to 21 weeks of maternity leave with full benefits after giving birth to a child. The first six weeks are compensated at 100% of regular pay, the next seven weeks are paid at 50% pay, and the final eight weeks are unpaid. Once a mother has worked 21 weeks after returning from maternity leave, they will receive a “welcome back bonus” in the amount of pay forfeited during maternity leave.
Maternity Leave — Adoption, Surrogacy, and Other Circumstances
Women at Very may take up to 12 weeks of maternity leave with full benefits following the adoption of a child or birth of a child carried by a surrogate, to be taken within a year of the birth of the child. The first six weeks are compensated at 100% of regular pay, and the following six weeks are unpaid.
Men at Very may take up to 12 weeks of paternity leave with full benefits following the birth or adoption of a child, to be taken within a year. The first six weeks are compensated at 100% of regular pay, and the following six weeks are unpaid.
We believe that policies that retain talented parents strengthen our company. As our company grows, we’d like to make these policies even more generous. I hope our employees (and future hires) will appreciate the time we’ve put into crafting this family leave policy.