Progressive People leaders come to Cocoon for an automated, technology-driven leave solution so they can showcase their commitment to caring for their employees. Simplifying the process is only one piece of a much larger puzzle – companies need to start with a competitive policy. In the United States employees are not even guaranteed a single day of paid leave under federal law, leaving any wage replacement up to companies and the state.
Companies have an opportunity to create a more equitable workplace with paid leave policies, especially those with highly distributed workforces. Rather than being at the mercy of whether or not the employee’s state offers a paid leave program, fully paid company policies allow employees across locations to take the time they need, when they need it.
To better understand just what these policies look like, we dove into the data of 224 venture-backed tech companies’ parental, medical, and caregiver leave policies in 2023. Read on for the highlights, or download the full dataset below.
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Parental leave benchmarks
Paid parental leave is table stakes for employees working in tech. The overwhelming majority of companies in our analysis offer 100% pay for the full duration of their parental leave policies. Supplementing the benefits an employee may receive from state and private disability insurance is one of the best ways People leaders can make sure employees feel supported during their leave journey.
Across companies of all sizes in our data set, the average leave policy for birthing parents is 16 weeks and 12 weeks for non-birthing parents. Here’s a look into how that breaks down as companies grow:
Early stage (5-200 employees)
- Birthing parent policies range from 6 to 26 weeks with a median of 16 weeks of fully paid parental leave
- Non-birthing parent policies range from 2 to 26 weeks with a median of 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave
- 98% of early stage companies offer a fully paid parental leave policy for birthing and non-birthing parents
Growth stage (200-1,000 employees)
- Birthing parent policies range from 6 to 28 weeks with a median of 16 weeks of fully paid parental leave
- Non-birthing parent policies range from 4 to 26 weeks with a median of 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave
- 95% of growth stage companies offer a fully paid parental leave policy for birthing and non-birthing parents
Late stage and public (1,000+ employees)
- Birthing parent policies range from 4 to 28 weeks with a median of 18 weeks of fully paid parental leave
- Non-birthing parent policies range from 2 to 18 weeks with a median of 10 weeks of fully paid parental leave
- 100% of late stage and public companies offer a fully paid parental leave policy for birthing and non-birthing parents
Tenure and usage requirements for Cocoon customers
Employees are eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) if they work for a covered employer for 12 months (and meet the 1,250 hour service requirement). We often see the most progressive companies be more generous here – over half of them have removed the tenure requirement completely. This can also be leveraged as a great recruiting tactic, showing prospective candidates that your company is committed to providing an equitable leave experience to all employees.
- 57% of employer don’t have a tenure requirement at all, meaning employees are eligible for their company’s policy from the first day of employment
- 43% of employers have a tenure requirement for their parental leave policy, and the median tenure is 6 months
- 75% of employers require leave to be taken in a minimum increment larger than one day, with a median minimum of 2 weeks at a time
Our parental leave policy generator helps companies of any size craft a policy in just a few minutes.
Medical leave policy benchmarks
Paid medical leave is less common than paid parental leave within our data set. Across Cocoon customers, about half (48%) offer a fully paid medical leave policy. All of these policies include top-up pay for employees while they’re receiving disability payments so they receive 100% of their normal pay while on medical leave.
- Across all companies the median medical leave policy is 4 weeks
- For early stage and growth stage companies, the median is 4 weeks
- For late stage and public companies, the median is 10 weeks
Caregiver leave policy benchmarks
Paid caregiver leave is even less common, despite the fact that one in five Americans are caregivers and nearly half of all working adults expressed the need to take a caregiver leave. Of Cocoon customers, 19% have a paid caregiver leave policy.
- Across the companies that do offer a paid policy, the median is 6 weeks
- For early stage companies, the median is 6 weeks
- For growth stage companies, the median is 4 weeks
- For late stage and public companies, the median is 10 weeks
To get started crafting a caregiver leave policy, check out our caregiver leave policy generator.
As companies look for ways to be employee-first and empathetic, we hope to see a continued increase in comprehensive paid leave policies across all leave types.
If you’re hesitant that it may be too soon to implement such competitive leave policies, many of the best People leaders craft policies based on where they expect their company to be a year from now. Proactively planning for the future allows companies to attract and retain talent going into the next phase of scale.
When companies care for their people during life’s most vulnerable moments, employees thrive. By understanding how other companies are managing leave, People leaders can craft policies that are competitive, compassionate, and inclusive.
Now that you have our paid leave benchmarks, follow these 5 steps to start writing your parental leave policy.
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After two years, working with hundreds of employers, and supporting more than 5,000 leaves in Cocoon, we have more conviction than ever that technology has the power to transform taking and managing leave. Today, we’re excited to share our evolved and expanded vision, along with the technology that will power it — with an all new look and feel.