How Competitive Is Your Company’s Paid Parental Leave?

 Paid parental leave policy is depicted with a mom feeds her toddler at home while on her maternity leave
When it comes to your company’s parental leave policy, how does your company compare to the Best Workplaces for Parents?

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When it comes to your company’s parental leave policy, how does your company compare to the Best Workplaces for Parents?

Becoming a parent is a time of great excitement and great planning. There are plenty of things to organize before welcoming a new child into your family — from picking the right stroller to organizing your parental leave.

Just like the range of strollers available on the market, not all parental leave is the same. The U.S. is the only wealthy country that does not offer a federal parental leave policy for parents and according to the World Economic Forum, employers that currently offer parental leave in the U.S. are scaling back on the length of time.

However, many companies prioritize supporting new parents with special parental leave policies and benefits. These include benefits like new parent buddies, support for couples in various stages of their fertility journey, and foster care parental leave.

Great Place To Work® analyzed data from more than half a million employees with parenting responsibilities to create a list of the Best Workplaces for Parents™. Strong parental leave not only benefits working parents, but helps organizations with employee retention and equality. 

Curious to know how your company’s paid parental leave policy compares to the Best Workplaces for Parents? Read on.

How much maternity leave do most companies give?

Employees who qualify for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may be eligible to receive up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but the average amount of maternity leave companies give in the U.S. is 29 days, which is just four weeks. By comparison, mothers who work at the Best Workplaces for Parents receive an average of 16 weeks of maternity leave.

How much paternity leave do most companies give?

In the U.S. parents are not legally entitled to take paid parental leave and only 21 percent of workers in the U.S. have access to paid paternity leave through employers. While paid paternity leave is becoming more common, the average amount of paternity leave given by companies is 17 days. Compare this to paternity leave offered by the Best Workplaces for Parents where fathers are eligible for nearly 12 weeks of paid leave.

How much maternity leave is optimal?

According to research, at least six months of maternity leave is optimal for mothers' physical and mental health. This period of paid maternity leave can benefit breastfeeding and help reduce postpartum depression and stress. UNICEF also recommends six months (or 24 weeks) as the ideal amount of time new parents should receive.

Let that sink in. Currently, the U.S. offers average of 29 days for new mothers compared to UNICEF’s recommended 168 days (24 weeks). That’s a difference of 479%. Perhaps the question isn’t just whether your parental leave is competitive but whether it is healthy. Or even humane.

10 workplaces with the best parental leave policies

Here are our top 10 Best Workplaces for Parents in 2022:

1. Cisco

This large-sized company has its headquarters in San Jose, California, and hit the number one spot on the Best Workplaces for Parents™ List 2022 for the amount of paid parental leave the company offers their employees. Cisco also ranked number 1 in 2021 and 2020.

Employees appreciate the flexibility that Cisco provides to promote work/life balance: “I have a child with special needs, and having the flexibility that I do allows me to fully support my family when they need me most,” says one employee.

Number of maternity days offered: 65

Number of paternity days offered: 65

2. Greenhouse

Greenhouse is a medium-sized IT company based in New York. It helps businesses deliver measurable hiring results so they can build, grow, and hire for what's next.

Here’s what a Greenhouse employee says about their parental leave policy: “Our maternity leave was especially generous and supportive while I had my first child last year. I was given the appropriate amount of time off and could return part-time while I got my daughter acclimated with daycare. They also sent a gift and sent me off with a sweet baby shower.”

Number of maternity days offered: 80

Number of paternity days offered: 80

3. Slalom Consulting

Based in Seattle, Slalom is a large-sized global business and technology consulting company. Slalom Consulting has consistently been recognized as a great place to work and is one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® seven years running. Slalom employees love the benefits targeted to employees who are parents or planning on becoming one. As one employee explained, “Slalom has now expanded its family planning benefits to include egg freezing, and the company offers employees 10 subsidized days for child care.”

Number of maternity days offered: 80

Number of paternity days offered: 40

4. Ro

Ro is a direct-to-patient healthcare company that offers nationwide telehealth, in-home care, diagnostics, and pharmacy services. Since 2017, Ro has helped millions of patients in nearly every single county in the United States.

The company offers fertility benefits with a lifetime stipend of up to $20,000 for fertility and/or adoption. Employees report that Ro also offers 16 weeks of paid parental leave for both the primary and secondary caregivers of a newborn or newly adopted child and a return to work program.

Number of maternity days offered: 80

Number of paternity days offered: 80

5. ComcastNBCUniversal

This global media and technology company streams entertainment, sports, and news to 57 million customers across the U.S. and Europe. Comcast NBCUniversal also provides memorable experiences for people at their theme parks and resorts. Among the benefits employees cite are offers from the company to help pay for childcare services before and after school, during the summer vacation, and last-minute care. 

Number of maternity days offered: 80

Number of paternity days offered: 80

6. Jobot

Jobot is disrupting the recruiting and staffing world by combining AI with experienced recruiters to fill jobs. This medium-sized company believes in building a positive culture and is committed to putting people before profit to create a workplace that is inclusive for all, including new parents.

Number of maternity days offered: 60

Number of paternity days offered: 20

7. Deloitte

This New York-based company helps clients realize their ambitions while positively impacting society. Deloitte is known for their culture of inclusion, collaboration, high performance, and purpose. The company is regularly recognized as a great workplace.

“As a man, I've never heard of 16 weeks of fully paid leave for the birth of a child, and was surprised and amazed by it when our daughter was born,” says one Deloitte employee. “But what's even more surprising to me is that taking that much time off had no impact on my promotion that I was awarded the same year. This company truly supports working parents and it is very comforting to have that in your professional life.”

Number of maternity days offered: 120

Number of paternity days offered: 80

8. Lattice

Lattice is a medium-sized IT company that enables leaders to develop engaged, high-performing teams by combining continuous performance management, employee engagement, development, and growth in one solution.

Employees at Lattice say that the company lives their values from top to bottom, embraces its culture, and values employees. As well as generous parental leave, employees report that Lattice provides six company “Recharge Days” during the year — the company is closed for business so employees can recharge and focus on their well-being.

Number of maternity days offered: 60

Number of paternity days offered: 60


NVIDIA is an IT company that tackles challenges that can’t be solved otherwise. Their work in artificial intelligence is transforming industries from gaming to healthcare to transportation and has a profound impact on society. Employees say that NVIDIA is about people, not policies. “While there may not be a policy that addresses a specific issue, the company will find a way to support you and care for your family.”

Number of maternity days offered: 110

Number of paternity days offered: 80

10. Thumbtack, Inc.

Based in San Francisco, Thumbtack, Inc. is an online directory that allows homeowners to search, rate, and hire local service providers to work on a variety of personal projects, including home improvement, financial, and legal services.

The company’s leadership team leads by example, taking parental leave to create a strong parental culture, prioritizing mental health through dedicated mental health company closures, and cultivating trust by listening to employees' needs and wants.

Number of maternity days offered: 105

Number of paternity days offered: 60

Benchmark your workplace against the best

The Best Workplaces for Parents lead the way in parental leave policies that honor the experience of parents. These companies set a shining example of how companies can support working parents in a way that fosters trust, purpose, and a positive employee experience for all. Interested in making the next Best Workplaces for Parents list? Certification is the first step. More than an employer award, Certification helps you benchmark 60+ areas of your workplace culture against the Best Workplaces award winners.  See if your company can be eligible for our awards and learn about Great Place To Work Certification™ today.

Claire Hastwell