Sir Richard Branson has granted a paid year off to new fathers, so they can "enjoy this magical time" with their child. REUTERS

Last October, Virgin Group founder and CEO, Sir Richard Branson, decided to look into a scheme where all of his employees would get unlimited time off, inspired by an email from his daughter who heard Netflix has that policy. Branson went ahead and implemented the policy as a vote of trust in his employees. Now, as the latest benefit for the company’s employees, new fathers can take a year off of work to be with their child, while Virgin continues to pay their salary in full. “If you take care of your employees they will take care of your business. 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,” said Branson before announcing the new job perk.

The billionaire is convinced loyalty helps businesses grow, and thinks that employees who feel like the company is taking care of them, are more likely stay and take good care of the business in return. “I’m delighted that we can offer this support to our staff so that they can enjoy parental leave to the full as we continue to our work in changing business for good.” Those employees who have been with the company for four or more years will enjoy a full paid salary for those 12 months. Newer hires will enjoy the benefit with different percentages of their salary.

Although the move is “ground-breaking,” as Virgin Management CEO Josh Bayliss called it, this will only apply to employees of Virgin Management, the investment and brand-licensing branch of Virgin Group, which means approximately 140 employees in London and Geneva. However, there’s been a recent boom where major companies like Starbucks, McDonald’s and Chipotle, amongst many others, are striving to provide bigger and better benefits for their employees. Hopefully Branson’s latest effort extends to more of the group’s employees in the near future.

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