Being a new dad is hard.

There is vomit literally everywhere outside this frame. Photo via Thinkstock.


It's not just about the sleepless nights, changing diapers, doctor visits, and all that jazz.

Fact is, it's so hard to get paid time off from work that it's tough for lots of dads to even get to be dads to begin with. Especially in the first year of a child's life.

(And, for the record, it's hard for lots of moms as well).

But take heart, new dads (and moms)! At least one CEO has your back.

Specifically, this guy:

Richard Branson's hair (L) and Richard Brandon (also L). Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Yep. Virgin CEO Richard Branson just dropped an extraordinarily generous parental leave policy.

"I'm very proud that Virgin Management has introduced a new initiative giving all employees in our London and Geneva offices a year's full pay for shared parental leave," Branson wrote in a June 10, 2015, blog post.

And while the new policy only applies to employees in two of Branson's offices (with four years of service or more), it's still a big deal. Because unlike many parental leave policies, it doesn't just apply to new moms. It applies to new dads too.

Yep. Dads.

A full year off to do all the things that dads do best.

I don't know if a year is enough time to really introduce you to Steely Dan, son. But I will ... try. Photo via Thinkstock.

In doing so, Branson one-upped the British government, which recently passed a law mandating 37 weeks of shared leave per family upon the birth or adoption of a child.

Which in turn somewhat hilariously one-upped the United States, which requires employers to provide ... none at all. Yep. Really. Only 10-15% of U.S. employers offer any sort of paternity leave whatsoever.

More companies can and should follow Branson's model.

Not just because it's good manners. But because, according to Branson, it's good for the bottom line. "If you take care of your employees they will take care of your business," Branson writes in his blog post.

Plus, the last time I checked, it was 2015. It's high time for dads to step up in the parent-o-sphere. And policies like this will only help them do it. After all, some kids only have dads. And, like, if none of their dads can get time off, then who's gonna dad? Also, it's just generally, you know, good for kids to have their parents around. That's a good thing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...

...fly on, Richard Branson. Fly free.

Whee. Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

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