Balance work and family life like a boss — with the help of the right employer.

Is this the year that you take on your most challenging, yet rewarding, job to date? Parenting that is. If you're thinking of becoming a parent, it's important to know your company's policies in regards to parents. Does your employer offer paid maternity and paternity leave? If so, how much leave do they provide? What other programs or policies does your company have in place to help working parents?

Paid maternity and paternity leave is about more than just getting a break from your job for a few weeks. It's been proven that significant paid leave leads to healthier babies and happier parents. Postpartum depression increases when the mother receives less than 12 weeks of maternity leave or eight weeks paid leave.

When it comes to supporting parents in the workplace, not all companies are equal. Out of 196 countries in the world, there are only four that do not have federally mandated maternity leave policies. Unfortunately, the United States is one of them. While there are many countries that are far ahead of the U.S. when it comes to supporting parents in the workplace, you may not be ready to move abroad to start your family.That means you'll want to find a great company right here in the United States.

The good news is that there are companies that are taking it upon themselves to be proactive in the arena of supporting new parents in the workplace. Here are 13 of the best companies to work for if you plan on starting your family.

A.T. Kearney

How does a year off with partial pay sound for a maternity or paternity leave? A.T. Kearney offers that to new parents (birth or adopted), plus the option to come back as part-time for the next year as a part of its Pathway for Parents program. The company also offers free family counseling and resources for caregivers and educational assistance. On top of that, it is a very work-from-home friendly workplace, which helps its employees maintain a better work-life balance.   


IKEA is now offering up to four months' leave for new parents. The best part of the policy is that it's applicable to both mothers and fathers as well as adoptive and foster parents. The maternity and paternity leave policy works for both salaried and hourly employees. It's rare to see such progressive parental policies in the retail sector. On top of that, IKEA employees get a 15 percent discount, so you can save money while setting up that new nursery.


This music streaming company is a hit with new parents. Spotify offers six months of paid leave to both mothers and fathers, regardless of their country. Flexible work arrangements and part-time return options also boost this already generous policy for working parents. Not surprisingly, Spotify stems from Sweden, where such policies are much more commonplace.


Etsy maintains a very inclusive parental leave policy. It offers a generous 26 weeks of 100 percent paid leave for all employees, regardless of gender or country of residence. It also does not discriminate against surrogates, adoptions, or other means of becoming new parents. The time off can be taken over the course of the first two years of the newborn's life.


Adobe also offers 26 weeks of maternity leave, but only 16 weeks for a paternity leave. While it may not be as impressive as Etsy's policy, it's still well ahead of the curve in accommodating working parents. Both birth and adoptive parents are covered in the maternity leave.

Johnson & Johnson

Who knows babies like the people who make your favorite baby shampoo and baby powder? Johnson & Johnson offers 17 weeks leave to new mothers and nine weeks to new fathers. Its policies cover all forms of new parents including adoptive and same sex. The time off can be spread out over the first year to help balance work and life while adjusting to the new family dynamic.


The social networking giant dishes out 17 weeks for mothers and fathers that can be split up over the first year. The company wants to make sure you have enough time to post all those new baby pictures to Facebook. On top of that, new parents get $4,000 of “baby cash” for each baby born to help with some of those early bills. Facebook also subsidizes a number of programs to help with adoption, child care, and even egg freezing.


Not to be left behind in the social media realm, Twitter dishes out 20 weeks of fully paid parental leave regardless of gender or birthing means. This new policy was established in 2016 to help even the score between moms and dads and create happier families and employees. Isn't that #progressive?


New mothers can get 20 weeks of paid maternity leave from Amazon. Other parents (fathers and same-sex partners) only receive six weeks of paid leave. One interesting touch is that parents who work at Amazon can share up to six weeks of their leave with a partner who works at a company where there is no parental leave offered. Once the mother or primary caregiver is ready to head back to work, they can take advantage of the “Ramp Back” program, which offers eight weeks of flexible time as they get re-adjusted.


Netflix offers new parents a full year of unlimited paid leave. The parent has the option to take the full year, work part time, or go back to work for a while and then take more leave within that year. The policy includes both salaried and hourly workers. To make it even better, Netflix offers unlimited vacation time.


As of 2017, Citi has upped its maternal leave to 16 weeks. The banking giant also offers eight weeks for a second parent. These are upgraded from 13 and two. Not enough? How about an additional 10 weeks of protected unpaid leave within the first year? That's a total of 26 weeks possible for a new mother. Parents can also take advantage of benefits offered by the Bright Horizons Care Advantage program.


Never one to be left behind, Google offers 18 weeks paid leave for biological mothers and bumps that up to 22 weeks for mothers who experience difficulties during childbirth. Other primary caregivers can get up to 12 weeks of leave while secondary caregivers get up to seven. New parents are also given $500 worth of “baby bonding bucks” and priority placement at Bright Horizon child care centers.


Microsoft offers 20 weeks paid leave for birth mothers and 12 weeks for other new parents. New mothers also have the option to take 2 weeks of short term disability during the time leading up to their due date.

These are by no means the only companies out there that are offering great benefits to new parents, but they are some of the most widely recognized. If trends continue, this list could continue to grow each year.

While parental leave policies are not the only reason to choose an employer, with so many companies in the U.S. offering very little or even no perks at all for new parents, it's worth noting. If you're planning on starting a family in the next year or two, it may be worth brushing up that resume and applying to one of these progressive companies to balance your work and family life.

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