Global telco company Vodafone announced today that all its employees worldwide will be offered 16 weeks of fully-paid parental leave. The development follows the introduction of a new global policy designed to support families by giving every parent the opportunity to have more time with children new to their family.
Under the policy, any employee whose partner is having a baby, adopts a child or becomes a parent through surrogacy can take upto 16 weeks paid leave at any time during the first 18 months.
Vodafone added employees will also be able to phase their return from parental leave by working the equivalent of a 30-hour week at full pay for another six months.
By the end of March 2021, Vodafone's parental leave will be applicable to all non-birthing parents - regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or length of service - across Vodafone's 24 markets and operations in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the US.
Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read stated, “Diversity and inclusion are core to our beliefs and purpose at Vodafone. We are proud to support all families by giving every parent the opportunity to have more time with their children, without worrying about the impact on their finances or careers”
The new global parental leave policy is a sign of Vodafone's commitment to diversity and gender equality and is expected to make a significant difference to thousands of Vodafone employees, particularly in countries where there is little or no legal requirement to give equal support for both parents. Many multinationals are rolling out such initiatives to improve the wellbeing of their staff and their work-life balance. Recently, Hewlett Packard Enterprise also announced among other employee programs, 26 weeks of paid leave for new parents - both mothers and fathers.