Family with children as a silhouette

Microsoft is extending its parental leave benefits to contractors, mandating that many employees who work with the company be given 12 weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. According to The Verge reporting, the policy applies to a range of companies including those that staff the cafeterias and provide janitorial services.

It won’t apply to all companies — only to companies in the U.S. that have more than 50 employees. The requirement will also only cover those employees who “perform substantial work for Microsoft,” which means someone with work “requiring building or network access.”

Those who are covered will be given a minimum of 12 weeks paid parental leave, receiving two-thirds of their wages, up to $1,000 per week. This policy is based on Washington state’s recent parental leave law and expands the benefits to the companies that Microsoft works with in other states.

The benefits aren’t as extensive as those received by Microsoft’s direct employees, who in 2015 were given 12 weeks of fully paid leave, with an additional eight weeks for a parent who’s given birth.

But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 13 percent of private-sector workers in the U.S. received paid parental leave as of March 2017.

Microsoft expects to take about a year to implement the new policy. The company said the new policy will likely lead to price increases, but said there are “clear benefits” for both employers and employees, the article said.

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