Vodafone leads way on paid parental leave

Primary carers to work 30 hours per week on full pay for six months

Vodafone today announced a ground-breaking suite of initiatives to support employees taking paid parental leave including an option to work four days a week and to be paid for five.

Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, Vodafone also released a new policy which provides ten days additional paid leave for employees experiencing domestic violence.

Chief Executive Officer Iñaki Berroeta said the initiatives were being introduced at a Group level, making Vodafone one of the first organisations in the world to introduce a mandatory minimum global maternity policy.

“Returning to work after a period of parental leave can be challenging,” said Mr Berroeta. “To help parents with this transition we’re allowing primary caregivers to work four days per week, but still receive five days’ pay for six months.

“We want to help our staff who wish to return to work after the arrival of a child to do so. We really value our staff, and this benefit encourages and supports women and parents to keep working with Vodafone.”

Vodafone is also increasing the period of paid parental leave from 14 to 16 weeks for primary caregivers, and employees will continue to accumulate bonus and super while on paid parental leave.

“By extending the level of support available to employees both on paid parental leave and on their return to work, we hope parents will be able to better balance their work, family and financial commitments,” he said.

Vodafone employees facing domestic violence will also have access to up to ten additional days of paid leave per year.

“We recognise that the terrible reality of domestic violence can affect an individual’s ability to attend work or perform their duties, and it is important employees experiencing assault or abuse know they’re being supported by Vodafone,” said Mr Berroeta.

“These additional days of leave will give employees the flexibility to attend medical, counselling and legal appointments and make arrangements to ensure their safety.

“Domestic violence can cause a great deal of distress and stress to victims, and this policy aims to alleviate some of the pressure on employees.

“The wellbeing of our employees is one of our highest priorities, and we’re determined to ensure they are supported and not disadvantaged due to personal circumstances.”

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Notes to editors:
Analysis commissioned from KPMG* indicates that global businesses could save up to an estimated $19 billion annually through the provision of 16 weeks of fully paid parental leave.

KPMG estimated that:

  • offering mothers a global return-to-work policy equivalent to a four-day week at full pay for their first six months back to work after maternity leave could save working mothers a cumulative $14 billion in childcare for their new babies; and
  • a four-day week would enable mothers to spend a cumulative 608 million additional days with their newborn babies.

Additionally, KPMG estimated that:

  • recruiting and training new employees to replace women who do not stay in the workforce after having a baby costs global businesses $47 billion every year;
  • offering women 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave rather than the statutory minimum would cost businesses an additional $28 billion a year; and
  • if businesses were able to retain more women in the workforce after their maternity leave, they could save up to $19 billion a year and would retain the knowledge and experience of these women with positive consequences for productivity and effectiveness.

* The estimated costs and savings are based on females with at least intermediate-level education, employed in non-agriculture sectors, going on paid maternity leave for 16 weeks rather than statutory paid maternity leave. The analysis is based on publicly available labour market and family statistics from a range of sources, including from the International Labour Organisation, Euromonitor and OECD family database, and on internal Vodafone workforce data where wider market statistics were unavailable.