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Paid Leave – Music to Our Ears



At Spotify, our passion is music. In fact, when a new employee joins, we often greet them by saying, “Welcome to the band.” The people of Spotify got us where we are today, and our ability to continue to deliver the world’s best music service lies in their hands. We believe in helping our team to learn, grow and meet their responsibilities at home and at work.

That’s why all full-time Spotify employees are offered up to six months parental leave with 100 percent pay. Parents are able to take their leave up to the child’s third birthday. We encourage parents to take the full time off or take advantage of this added flexibility and split their leave into separate periods. In addition, we help people with a “Welcome Back!” program that allows returning team members to ease back into their job with the ability to work from home, or on a part-time schedule with flexible hours. This policy applies to mothers and fathers, same-sex couples, surrogates and those who adopt.

Research shows that when a company offers very generous or unlimited time-off policies, it often results in employees taking less time out of work because they are affected by social pressures and workplace expectations. Research also shows that these types of policies can be successful if a company embodies a culture where employees are encouraged to take time off in a retaliation-free environment, and when a company extends this flexibility to everyone.

Paid parental leave has multiple positive effects on the health of not only the children but also the parents. Many studies have shown how paid parental leave can reduce infant mortality, increase the likelihood of infants getting well-baby care visits and vaccinations, and have multiple mental health benefits for the parents. Specifically, one study showed women that took longer than 12 weeks maternity leave “reported fewer depressive symptoms, a reduction in severe depression and improvement in their overall mental health.”

Our Swedish-inspired work culture means that we have an environment where a rich time-off policy can be successful. This is what differentiates Spotify from most other companies, and why we believe employees all around the world will be comfortable (and expected) to take their full parental leave time with the support of their peers, managers and leaders.

After we announced our paid leave policy – from our NYC office with White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett – many Spotify employees expressed how proud they are to work in a company that offers this type of policy.

  • Ned, one of our technical account engineers, said that spending time with his daughter in her first few months created memories he’d treasure for the rest of his life.
  • Kal, our vice president of revenue operations, is a “huge fan” of the program, which he used to spend time with his daughter as she was beginning to speak, and to meet her new friends and their families: “Everyone at work was very understanding and pitched in to ensure we had complete coverage of my responsibilities.”
  • Eliot, a data storyteller, said “My family and I will be forever grateful for Spotify’s parental leave policy. I try to be a fairly active father, but working full-time means missing out on all kinds of things.”
  • And Global Human Resource Business Partner Johan Sellgren said it’s fantastic to see the acceptance and encouragement of the policy within the company. After taking leave, “you come back with new energy and perspectives.”

These are just a few of the positive benefits our workplace has found since we introduced this policy.

We strongly believe that when our people thrive, our company thrives. And when our people develop, our company develops. Our company was born out of a culture that places an emphasis on a healthy work/family balance, gender equality and the ability for every parent to spend quality time with the people that matter most in their lives. We encourage companies here in the United States and around the world to #LeadOnLeave.

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