Multinational telecommunications company Vodafone announced last Friday that it will offer women 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave. Plus, for six months after their return to work, mothers will be working 30-hours a week and still get full-time pay and benefits.
Chief executive Vittorio Colao said that the new policy would benefit more than 1,000 female employees per year.
“Too many talented women leave working life because they face a difficult choice between either caring for a newborn baby or maintaining their careers,” said Colao.
“Women account for 35% of our employees worldwide, but only 21% of our international senior leadership team. We believe our new maternity policy will play an important role in helping to bridge that gap,” he added.
By providing 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave, global business worlwide could save $19 billion a year, according to analysis from KPMG commissioned by Vodafone.
The analysis found that the extra $28 billion cost of extra benefits for maternity leave is far lower than the $47 billion it costs to recruit and train new employees to replace the women who leave the workforce after having a baby.
The company employs around 93,000 people in 30 operating companies worldwide; in the U.S., Africa, India, Asia and the Middle East. The new policy will benefit all employees of all the Vodafone offices.
Sources: March 6, 2015. "Vodafone offers worldwide maternity pay minimum". theguardian.com March 10, 2015. "One Small Hope For The Future Of Maternity Leave In The U.S.". huffingtonpost.com
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