Microsoft increases paid leave for new parents

SAN FRANCISCO - Microsoft (MSFT) says it will offer more paid leave to new parents and increase other benefits for U.S. employees, a day after Netflix announced generous new-parent benefits for its workers.

Under its new policy, Microsoft Corp. will increase total paid leave for new mothers to 20 weeks, from a current 12 weeks paid and eight weeks of unpaid leave. New fathers will get 12 paid weeks, instead of four paid and eight unpaid. Microsoft is also increasing its contribution to employees' 401k plans.

"As we ask our employees to bring their 'A' game to work every day to achieve our mission, we believe it's our responsibility to create an environment where people can do their best work. A key component of this is supporting our employees with benefits that matter most to them," Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft's executive vice president for human resources, wrote in a blog post.

The move follows Netflix's offer of up to a year of paid parental leave. Many tech companies offer generous benefits as they compete to attract talented engineers and other workers.

Netflix has about 2,000 workers, while about half of Microsoft's 110,000 workers are based in the United States.