Two months' paternity leave for Zuckerberg

SAN FRANCISCO • Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has said he will take two months of paternity leave after his daughter's birth, a strong statement from one of the busiest and most powerful United States executives on the importance of family time.

Silicon Valley technology firms have rushed to extend parental leave allowances and other benefits in an attempt to recruit and retain talent, but many workers do not take advantage for fear of falling behind at work or missing out on promotions.

Facebook, the world's biggest online social network, allows its US employees to take up to four months of paid maternity or paternity leave, which can be used all at once or throughout the first year of their child's life, a policy which is generous by US standards.

Mr Zuckerberg, 31, announced in July that he and his wife Priscilla Chan were expecting a baby girl, but did not disclose the due date.

"This is a very personal decision," Mr Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page on Friday, along with a picture of a stroller, a yellow baby carrier and his dog Beast.

"Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families."

Mr Zuckerberg's decision is unusual among high-level tech executives, especially men.

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer took two weeks off after her first child's birth in 2012.

When she announced she was pregnant with identical twin girls in September, she said she would be taking limited maternity leave and would be "working throughout".

Mr Zuckerberg's post generated more than 50,000 "likes" in one hour and nearly 3,000 comments.

Many of the comments lauded his decision and said it sent a positive message about US parental leave policies.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 22, 2015, with the headline 'Two months' paternity leave for Zuckerberg'. Print Edition | Subscribe