Microblogging site Twitter has something special for its employees this May Day. An official of the company has told Fortune that it will offer 20 weeks of fully paid "gender-neutral" parental leave to all its full-time employees starting May 1. The new policy applies to female employees who have given birth, new dads and parents who adopt.
A handful of companies have started granting equal parental leave to both men and women owing to changes in family structure. Facebook, Change.org and Etsy currently follow this policy.
"The goal of this change was to expand how we think about parental leave," Jeffrey Siminoff, VP of Twitter, told Fortune, talking about the inclusion of males in the 20 weeks of fully paid parental leave bracket. "Primary caregiving is something that's hard to define."
"We're a very watched industry because of the products and services we offer," said Siminoff. "We want to lead by example and by doing so we can influence the decisions of others."
However, the new policy of 20 weeks of paid "gender-neutral" parental leave is applicable only to employees in the United States at the moment, but it will spread to employees in other countries at least by July 1. Twitter, until now, offers 20 weeks of paid leave to its female employees who give birth, but only 10 weeks to new dads and couples who turn parents through adoption.
Facebook offered four months fully paid leave to all new parents, regardless of gender or location, starting Jan. 1 this year. Lori Matloff Goler, head of human resources at Facebook, announced that all its full-time employees, who have turned parents, would get equal parental leave.