Two days after Mother's Day, fuel company Shell announced all its female employees who have given birth will get at least 16 weeks of maternity leave. And, get this, it covers its employees all over the world.
"For Shell, this is a very significant step in the right direction for equality," Claire Punins, exploration geologist and also a mom, said in a statement.
"All women should receive the support they need as new mothers, regardless of where they are in the world. Having a global maternity standard at Shell is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes business sense. It makes us more attractive to women seeking jobs, and means they stay with us for longer," Punins added.
Shell's Downstream executive director John Abbott agrees. "The true hallmark of our progress is that inclusion is embedded in everything we do," he said. "Introducing this minimum standard for paid maternity leave across Shell is good for our people and for our business, and, in my view, is simply the right thing to do," Abbot stressed.
In the U.S., many companies there are now offering longer maternity leaves, a progressive development when you consider that it is one of the countries that does NOT mandate maternity leave. (In fact, new mothers are entitled to less than three weeks off at an average full wage rate.)
Vodafone has been giving new moms 16-week paid maternity leave for two years now. Facebook has included fathers in their four-month new-parent leave benefit. Adobe company offers six months of paid maternity leave. Microsoft and Virgin Group provide a year of fully paid maternity leave.
Netflix raised the bar higher with its new-parent policy that allows for unlimited leaves within the first year after giving birth, while its employees who are paid by the hour get 12 to 16 weeks.
Nestlé started to offer 14 weeks of paid maternity leave to all their employees around the world in 2015. Accenture, on the other hand, has extended theirs to 120 days for Philippine-based employees.
As of this writing, the proposal to give new Pinay mothers 120 days off from work after childbirth has not yet been enacted into law. Currently, the Philipipnes only offers 60 to 78 days or two to two and a half months of paid maternity leave, which depends on how the woman delivered her baby. Read here our top reasons why our government should approve the bill.