Richard Branson, the eccentric billionaire founder of Virgin Group, announced on Monday that his company will now offer new dads a full year off and pay them 100 percent of their salaries. (Moms are already privy to the perk.) The new policy applies to men who adopt children as well, but there are a few catches: Namely the new policy only applies to 140 employees in Virgin Management, the company’s investment and brand licensing arm. And only employees who have been with the company for at least four years are eligible for the full salary perk. Those who have worked at the company for a minimum of two years are eligible for the full year of paternity leave at 25 percent of their salary. “As a father and now a granddad to three wonderful grandchildren, I know how magical the first year of a child’s life is but also how much hard work it takes,” Branson said in a statement. The news comes a little more than a week after Sweden introduced a third month of paid paternity leave for new fathers. Some initial reaction described the initiative as “a bold statement” and an “exceptionally generous” move that “puts Google and Facebook to shame.”
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