Microsoft Requires US Contractors to Offer Paid Family Leaves

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. mandate / ˈmænˌdeɪt / (v) – to give an official order

    The company has mandated employees to follow the new dress code.

  2. contractor / ˈkɑːnˌtræktɚ / (n) – a company that provides supplies or employees to another company at a given time

    The contractor will send a temporary replacement for the sick security guard.

  3. legislation / ˌledʒ·əsˈleɪ·ʃən / (n) – a law

    The legislation on the nationwide ban on plastic straws was implemented last month.

  4. transaction / trænˈzækʃən / (n) – the process or act of doing business with another company

    The transaction with our partner company can take place through a phone call.

  5. eligible / ˈɛləʤəbəl / (adj) – meeting the requirements

    The secretary will contact all eligible candidates by next week.


Read the text below.

Microsoft will mandate its contractors to provide paid parental leaves to their employees next year.

According to the Washington-based tech giant, it created the policy following Washington’s legislation, which will be implemented in 2020. This state law will oblige companies to provide paid parental leaves to all contractual workers and employees.

Microsoft’s new policy applies to businesses that have a minimum of 50 US-based employees with a significant amount of transactions with Microsoft in terms of accessing the company’s buildings or data network. Contractors are required to offer a three-month minimum parental leave to their employees who will either give birth or adopt a child. These employees include cafeteria crews, janitors, engineering consultants, and information technology support personnel.

Eligible employees will receive a weekly pay of up to $1,000. With this, Microsoft is expecting that the initiative will raise costs. Nonetheless, the company’s corporate vice president and general counsel, Dev Stahlkopf [dev sh-TUHL-kohf], said that the initiative is worth the expenses. Stahlkopf explained that the benefit will boost the productivity and confidence of new mothers and will allow fathers to spend more time with young children.

This is not the first time that Microsoft put importance on paid leaves for employees. In 2015, the company required its suppliers to provide a minimum of 15 days off to contractual workers who worked with Microsoft.

Other companies such as Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon also developed policies on family leaves in the same year.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree with Microsoft’s policy that mandates its contractors to provide paid family leaves to its employees? Why or why not?
• How do you think this policy will affect Microsoft’s image?

Discussion B

• What is the importance of providing company benefits for employees? Discuss.
• If you were a business owner, what other benefits would you provide to your employees? Discuss.