Microsoft As Microsoft improves its own benefits, the company has also been trying to raise the standards for its subcontractors. (Photo: ALM/File Photo)

Companies that want to staff Microsoft’s cafeterias, entrance desks and other positions will have to offer those workers three months of paid parental leave, the software giant said Thursday.

To qualify for contracts, companies will have to provide at least 12 weeks of paid time off, up to $1,000 a week, at the birth or adoption of a new child. The policy will apply to companies with 50 or more workers who perform “substantial” work for Microsoft. The requirement will be phased in over the next 12 months and is expected to impact thousands of workers.

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