Worldwide maternity scheme will see significantly better terms than statutory minimum in some countries
UK-based operator Vodafone has announced plans to introduce a worldwide maternity policy by the end of 2015.
The global policy will mean that its operations in more than 30 countries will be required to give female employees a minimum of 16-weeks fully-paid maternity leave.
New mothers returning to work for the network will be offered a 30-hour week on full pay for at least six months.
Vodafone Group said that a number of its subsidiaries already offer substantial maternity care but the new mandatory minimum maternity policy will affect “thousands of Vodafone women employees in countries where there is little or no legislative requirement to provide maternity support.”
The new policy comes following research from KPMG that indicated that global businesses could save an estimated $19 billion annually through the provision of 16 weeks maternity leave.
This is based on the fact that recruiting and training replacements for women who do not stay in the workforce after having a baby costs businesses $47 billion every year.
Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao, said: “Too many talented women leave working life because they face a difficult choice between either 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 per cent of our employees worldwide but only 21 per cent 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 organisation will ultimately result in better decisions, a better culture and a deeper understanding of our customers’ needs.”