Microsoft Gives Employees Pandemic Leave Benefit

Posted on April 7, 2020 by Brad Sams in Microsoft with 1 Comment

We have all read the stories about the tips and struggles of working from home during the past couple of weeks. While we (hopefully) ride out COVID-19, the world keeps turning and for many adults, this also means that schooling must continue as well.

In our house, my wife is working from home but also being the teacher as well; she is keeping our daughter engaged with schoolwork while also holding down a full-time job. This scenario is something that is being replicated in houses around the world and for many, can be a serious challenge to balance the new ‘normal’.

To help its employees navigate these new challenges, Microsoft is offering employees a new perk called “Paid Pandemic School and Childcare Closure Leave” (PSCCL), according to those familiar with the company’s plans. The benefit can be taken on a continuous or intermittent basis (a day or two per week, if needed) with a total of 12 weeks being offered. [Update] This benefit does appear to be part of updated FMLA rules but Microsoft’s implementation appears to be a bit more generous than the baseline requirement.

For parents who are struggling to make the adjustment, this type of perk is a timely benefit that will make the adjustment significantly easier. And for those with multiple children at home, being able to take a day or two off per week to focus on the education will be a breath of fresh air.

I will be curious to see if other companies follow this path forward but I know that it’s not always possible. For those who are working the front lines, taking 12 weeks off is not possible and for smaller companies, there is rarely another person who is able to pick up the slack.

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