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How Mark Zuckerberg’s paternity leave will affects your staff

247HRM > Attendance & Leave Management  > How Mark Zuckerberg’s paternity leave will affects your staff

How Mark Zuckerberg’s paternity leave will affects your staff

Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines for announcing his decision to take 2 months off following the birth of his daughter.

If a new study is anything to go by, this decision of his could impact new fathers and paternity leave policies all around world.

Research conducted by Gordon B. Dahl, Katrine V. Loken, and Magne Mogstad, as published in the American Economic Review found that if a male employee sees his co-worker take paternity leave for the arrival of a new baby, he is 11 % more likely to take leave himself when he has a kid.

Moreover, the influence of a supervisor, such as Zuckerberg, taking leave is 2.5 times greater compared to a co-working taking it.

This suggests that when a peer takes paid leave and shares information about how it went, his co-workers’ uncertainty about taking it themselves gets reduced,  inspiring risk-averse workers more likely to take time off.

The researchers also found implications of a “snowball effect”: as more fathers take paternity leave, they’re likely to influence more and more of their fellow fathers to do the same. They found that this rolling phenomenon accounts for over 50% of the peer influence of those impacted further down the chain.

The impact is equally strong when the boss of the company is the one taking such leave: this sends an important message to employees that the company policy is authentic.

The researchers looked at a case study from Norway, which changed its paternity leave programme in 1993, and offered an extra month of paid leave to fathers.

With this new policy, the share of fathers taking leave shot up from 3% to 35%.

Researchers took advantage of this change to look at the impact of fathers who were newly induced to take leave on their co-workers and brothers.

They also found that brothers of men who had recently taken paternity leave were 15% more likely to take leave themselves when they had their first child.

Now imagine the boss who is taking paternity leave is the world famous CEO of Facebook, HR from around the world might soon have to entertain loads of enquiries  from employees about their rights to paternity leave.

The researchers looked at a case study from a firm in Norway, which changed its paternity leave programme in 1993, to give an extra month of paid leave which could only be taken by fathers.

With the new policy the share of fathers taking leave shot up from 3% to 35%.

Researchers took advantage of this change to look at the impact of fathers who were newly induced to take leave on their co-workers and brothers.

They also found that brothers of men who has taken paternity leave were 15% more likely to take leave themselves when they had their first child.

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