Microsoft now requires U.S. suppliers to give employees paid parental leave

Microsoft logo at Ignite
Microsoft logo at Ignite (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft announced this week (opens in new tab) that it will now require its U.S. suppliers to provide a minimum of 12 weeks of parental leave for their employees. The new policy builds off of a rule Microsoft implemented in 2015 (opens in new tab) requiring those same suppliers to provide employees with paid time off.

Microsoft will implement the paid parental leave policy over the next 12 months. Applying to parents who take time off for the birth or adoption of a child, the policy will require a minimum of 12 weeks of paid parental leave at up to $1,000 per week. The new rule will apply to all suppliers across the U.S. who have more than 50 employees.

From Microsoft:

Our new supplier parental leave requirement is informed by important work on paid parental leave done in states, including Washington. In 2017, Washington state passed family leave legislation, including paid parental leave. This new law will take effect in 2020. As we looked at this legislation, however, we realized that while it will benefit the employees of our suppliers in Washington state, it will leave thousands of valued contributors outside of Washington behind. So, we made a decision to apply Washington's parental leave requirement more broadly, and not to wait until 2020 to begin implementation.

Microsoft says that it will work with suppliers to "make these changes in a thoughtful way" to address any issues that may arise.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • 12 weeks? Here in Norway we have 12 months by default...
  • 12 weeks is a joke. 12-18 in Canada. 2 weeks minimum vacation by law + paid sick days + paid public holidays.
  • Culturally Americans are workaholics and we tend to view people that take time off as lazy. The Department of Defense only gives fathers 10 days and mothers just got 12 weeks (it was only 6 weeks until this year).
  • As an American visiting Europe this is accurate 😬
  • Is that why culturally so many Americans are taking prescribed meds too and have many mental health problems?
  • I'd say it's more because pharmaceutical companies run rampant and often push American doctors to over prescribe meds (so they can sell more), which is the same reason that the US is currently in the midst of an opioid crises and leads the world in the growth of antibiotic resistant diseases.
  • Simply, US pharma companies are greedy thieves! They rip people off on prescription drugs unregulated prices and they immune themselves of any side effects and consequences'
  • To be fair, the latter part is also because we load our meat with antibiotics before slaughter. Yet another reason for organics!
  • Just to further clarify I meant 12-18 months in Canada. 12 weeks is still a joke though.
  • No sir, no time off is a joke, which is what most of us Fathers had/are having/and will have when a child is born and one works in America. It's really sad, but true. At this point even 3 days being a law would be better. We can't even get forced sick leave passed! Good for you MS!
  • 12 months is so damn much though.
  • For a mother I think that's appropriate, but it would be expensive for a company. Too expensive for small companies. Imagine five critical staff get pregnant at nearly the same time, it could kill your business if they were gone for that long.
  • No, mothers should get at least 16 months of paid leave for taking care of a child.
  • @Robert Rathbun. You do realise that temp staff can be hired to cover maternity leave right?
    Plus that fictious scenario is nonsensical, it doesn't happen.
    Because of common sense.
  • Yeah, and the worlds highest taxes!
  • Norway has 92% taxes while some parts of Europe have over 40% taxes and VAT to include! Canada and US is lucky to have taxes way under 25%
  • Only 12 months? The baby is only a year old. There's no way they can take care of themselves yet. Parents should get at least 18 years of paternity leave. Once they're off to university, then maybe the parents could go back to work but certainly not before then. Obviously, a true progressive/socialist society would only accept 26 years paternity leave, because often the child returns home after university.
  • Only 8 years post university? Seems short. In Wakanda, you get 30 years leave for newborn to ensure they have a seamless transition to adulthood.
  • No, it would take longer than 26 years. The so-called "parents" have to follow their little "Snowflakes" as they protest their way through their college years and Mom and Dad bail them out after they are arrested at ANTIFA protest events. After that they need to move back home to life with Mom and Dad because thumb suckers cannot make it in the real world. I think 32 years of leave and another 20 for therapy would be much more appropriate.
  • @Robert Rathbun, check your bias at the door. This forum / blog is not the place - there are other plenty of forums for such discussions.
  • @jams_11 - I assume that is mostly covered by government, not the companies directly (maybe indirectly via taxes).
  • In a country where mothers aren't guaranteed anything by law, the fact Fathers are given anything is considered benevolent.
  • Czech Rep: you can choose between 1 up to 4 years. You are allocated the same amount of support though, whatever parental leave length you pick.
  • Microsoft should fix their own software before trying to play world conscience and push their social agendas on others.
  • Maybe with this new rule, everyone will jump to buy a Windows Phone now. I'm sure that was the problem.
  • Do you seriously come to Windows Central just to bash Microsoft? That is lame. Get a hobby.
  • Do you seriously come to Windows Central just to bash people that bash Microsoft? That is lame. Get a hobby.
  • Start your own company if you think you can do better. No one is forced to do business with MS. This is the free market at work.
  • Lol y'all need to stop. This isn't an agenda. This is good for everyone. People making this a partisan thing... At least it's a business (that you all so seem to love) doing this, not the government (then, we would have major meltdowns).
  • Some comments proving common sense is not so common. This Parental leave policy is a win for everyone.
  • Seems to me their overstepping their boundaries and a lawsuit will soon follow.
  • How? They're a business and are free to choose whom they do business with. If the suppliers don't want to comply they're free to start selling to someone else.
  • I just don't agree in principle that a corporation with deep pockets (whom I own stock in) should enforce policies on other companies. I am not saying the idea of the leave in and of itself is wrong. I simply don't think that one company should be able to legally impose their policies on separate entities is all. Benefits cost money, which is the reason I don't think it is right. Merely my opinion on the matter that's all. Where does this go next? Perhaps if they don't agree with another companies political views they won't do business with them? Seems like this is a potential Pandora's Box.
  • Welcome to capitalism. Consumers and businesses (which in this case are consumers from another businesses) can choose who they give their money to for virtually any reason they choose. Maybe they want higher quality products and are willing to pay more, or maybe they're willing to spend more for the same quality if they think it's supporting a moral cause like paid maternity leave. It's no different than me choosing to pay more for food that is sustainably grown.
  • They're not enforcing a policy on anyone but themselves.
  • It's business. Don't want to want to abide by Microsoft's terms don't sign the contract. Go get another customer and turn down their money.
  • Why don't you like freedom?
  • That's awesome. If only the rest of the country would follow along
  • Nice
  • Baby steps. This will help states along in their own expansion of parental leave and sick leave laws. The most lasting rules are ones that both industry and the public can agree to.
  • Is all of Microsoft suppliers only U.S. based companies? If not why is this only affecting U.S. companies? Doesn't this put the U.S. companies at a disadvantage if they are competing with companies in other countries making bids for Microsoft business that don't have to live by these standards? If Microsoft wants to be truly fair this should apply to all suppliers not just U.S. based.
  • Agreed, but most other countries already guarantee more than 12 weeks of paid leave.
  • @Paul Josephson as Hanley Gibbons has said almost all countries have paid leave for maternity, paternity and sick leave. So really, as the US is yet to catch up on employment rights it primarily affects US companies.
  • Jeez some of the comments in here are absolutely ridiculous. America lol what happened to this country?
  • A leaky sieve 🤣.