Vodafone pioneers global maternity policy across 30 countries
Posted on 6-Mar-2015 22:48
Filed under: News
Vodafone has announced that it will become one of the first organizations in the world to introduce a mandatory minimum global maternity policy. By the end of 2015, women working at all levels across Vodafone's 30 operating companies in Africa, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Latin America, and the US will be offered at least 16 weeks fully paid maternity leave, as well as full pay for a 30-hour week for the first six months after their return to work.
Other than the United Nations, very few global organizations -- and even fewer multinational corporations -- have adopted minimum maternity policies of this kind. While a number of Vodafone subsidiaries already offer substantial maternity care terms which will continue as before, the new mandatory minimum global maternity policy will make a significant difference to the lives of thousands of Vodafone women employees in countries where there is little or no legislative requirement to provide maternity support.
Vodafone also announced today the outcome of an analysis commissioned from KPMG which indicates that global businesses could save up to an estimated $19 billion annually through the provision of 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave.
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; at the same time 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.
Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao, said: "Too many talented women leave working life because they face a difficult choice between caring for a newborn baby or maintaining their careers. Our new mandatory minimum global maternity policy will support over 1,000 Vodafone women employees every year in countries with little or no statutory maternity care."
"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. Supporting working mothers at all levels of our organization will ultimately result in better decisions, a better culture and a deeper understanding of our customers' needs."
Vodafone Americas President Chuck Pol added: "Our Americas workforce is rapidly growing and this new global policy provides our female employees with the flexibility they need after pregnancy while continuing to grow their career with us. We are leading the empowerment of women in the telecommunications industry and are proud to be one of the few companies in the U.S. to embrace this type of maternity leave policy."