Happen to work for a business that supplies Microsoft with goods and/or services? Your company’s parental leave policy might soon improve.

On Thursday, the software giant announced it will require its US suppliers to provide paid parental leave to employees who handle Microsoft work. The move comes after Microsoft in 2015 started requiring its suppliers to provide their employees with paid time off.

As part of its new policy, Microsoft will require suppliers with more than 50 employees to offer their workers at least 12 weeks of paid parental leave, up to $1,000 per week, following the birth or adoption of a child. It covers supplier employees who “perform substantial work for Microsoft.”

In a blog post, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and General Counsel Dev Stahlkopf said the new policy was inspired by a family leave law passed in Washington state last year that is slated to take effect in 2020.

“As we looked at this legislation… 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,” Stahlkopf wrote. “So, we made a decision to apply Washington’s parental leave requirement more broadly, and not to wait until 2020 to begin implementation.”

Redmond said it plans to work with its suppliers to implement this new policy over the next 12 months.

“The case for paid parental leave is clear,” Stahlkopf wrote. “Studies show that paid parental leave enriches the lives of families. Women who take paid maternity leave are more likely to be in the workforce a year later and earn more than mothers who do not receive paid time off. Employers who offer paid time off for new mothers experience improved productivity, higher morale, and lower turnover rates.”

Men, meanwhile, are more likely to take paternity leave, and do so for longer periods of time, when it’s paid, Stahlkopf added.

“This increased bonding and time spent caring for young children is correlated with positive outcomes such as higher test scores for these children,” she wrote. “Further, when men and women have the opportunity to take paid leave, it can help counteract gender caregiving stereotypes, neutralize stigmas and promote equity in the home and office.”



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