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Spotify finds success with six-month paid parental leave programme for both dads and mums

A Spotify spokesperson says giving both dads and mums fully-paid parental leave for six months has been a "phenomenal success" and urges Kiwi businesses to "dare to be different".

Michael Kim, the Swedish music streaming service's head of HR for Australasia, told Seven Sharp the initiative saw employee retention rates come close to 100 per cent. 

"We've had this programme launch three years ago, and it's been a phenomenal success for us internally," he said. 

Mr Kim said although other businesses may not be able to afford to give their employees half a year off with full pay, he asked companies to consider what they could do within their means to improve their staff's work/life balance.

"When you're happier at home, and you have that strong work/life balance, you bring your best self into the office.

"And when you bring your best self into the office, you perform better. And, when our people are performing better, our business grows."

Mr Kim said his message to New Zealand companies was to "dare to be different and understand [their millenial] workforce" to shape programmes tailored to them.

"The millennial workforce is a much different workforce that existed 20 years ago, 30 years ago." 

He said organisations who looked after its people would benefit from increased loyalty and retention.

Spotify's employees are eligible for the leave from their first day. Mr Kim said there had been "success stories" of employees taking the six-month leave after about one month at the company.

"We fully embrace that," he said.

"We're investing in our people on a long-term basis. So this notion of eligibility after a certain amount of time... for such an important part of your personal life didn't make sense to us from a cultural perspective."

Spotify also gives its employees an additional seventh month to ease back into work.

Mr Kim said Sweden's policies influenced Spotify's corporate culture. The country's parental leave policies are some of the most generous in the world.

Sweden gives parents of any gender to share 16 months of parental leave paid at about 80 per cent of their salaries. Swedish dads must use part of the entitlement.

Mr Kim is in Auckland for today's launch of Kiwi Dads at Westfield Newmarket, a photo exhibition and campaign promoting equal access to paid parental leave.

Approximately 300 New Zealand men and 30,000 women took paid parental leave in 2017.

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Seven Sharp talks to a company spokesperson for more details. Source: Seven Sharp