Elon Musk took another step towards completing his full-on heel turn, as Twitter announced that parental leave at the social media company would be reduced from 20 weeks to just two.
To say Musk's takeover of Twitter has been rife with controversy would be a dire understatement. It seems like every week, there is a new reason to lambast the infamous entrepreneur, from not paying rent for the company's headquarters to the blue checkmark debacle.
Now, Elon Musk has made even more enemies, as the social media company is reportedly rolling back parental leave allowances substantially for its remaining employees.
Twitter Parental Leave Down to Only Two Weeks
According to a tweet from Kate Conger, a tech report for the New York Times, Twitter is getting rid of its generous parental leave policy in favor of a less generous and more complicated plan.
For starters, employees will now only get two weeks of guaranteed paid leave after having a baby. On top of that, employees will be allowed as many weeks as required by law in whatever US state they are living in.
New: Twitter used to offer employees 20 weeks of paid parental leave. That’s being changed to whatever is required by law in the region where the employees work, along with a “top up” of two weeks of leave, per internal docs.
— kate conger (@kateconger) April 25, 2023
If you're at all familiar with the parental leave situation in the United States, you know that this is a big hit for pretty much every employee at the company. There is no national requirement for companies to provide parental leave, and only 12 states (as well as one district and one territory) in the whole country have any kind of law on the books that mandates this kind of benefit.
States that do offer parental leave include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, DC.
Is Cutting Parental Leave Good for Business?
If you're looking to cut costs for your business during the recession, we understand the inclination to follow suit with Twitter. After all, if Elon Musk is doing it, it has to be a good move for businesses, right?
If the tanking price of Twitter is any indication, Musk might not have the inside track on the best practices for successful businesses, and this approach to family leave is further evidence. In fact, studies have shown that axing parental leave can have a pretty dire impact on productivity.
One study out of the UK surveyed over 2,000 businesses with and without parental leave to get to the bottom of it. The study was quite conclusive, with those with parental leave being 60% more likely to report above-average financial performance than those without parental leave. That number rose to 93% for companies that specifically offer paternity leave.
Simply put, being in cost cutting mode is never fun, but the reality is that slashing employee benefits is a poor short-term solution that will likely harm you more than it will help you in the long run.