MEDIA RELEASE - Vodafone has today announced that it will match the government’s increase in paid parental leave to 22 weeks to give primary carers more freedom to spend time at home with their young children.
Vodafone voluntarily tops up the government’s paid parental leave contribution to 100% of an employee’s salary, and from 1 July 2018, will extend its paid parental leave term from 16 to 22 weeks.
For Vodafone Diversity and Inclusion Lead Kirstin Te Wao, this is great news for whānau.
“We recognise that while parental leave is mostly attributed to women in the workplace, this level of support is available for any of our people who take on the important role of primary carer.
“So whether you have a whānau of one mum and dad, two mums, two dads or even a solo parent, these changes are designed to give all parents the time they need to be there for their tamariki in those precious and most formative months, without the additional stress of wondering how you’re going to get by without your salary,” Kirstin said.
Vodafone has an ambition to become the employer of choice for women by 2025, and the change to its paid parental leave policy is the latest in a string of initiatives designed to achieve that.
As part of its pioneering parental leave policy introduced in 2015, Vodafone implemented a Phased Return option for employees returning to work after taking extended parental leave. This means employees can work a reduced 30-hour week and still receive pay for a full week’s work for the first six months.
Vodafone has since seen a 16% increase in parents returning to work after parental leave.
For Vodafone HR Director Antony Welton, making the wellbeing of employees a priority is not only paramount to the success of the business but is the right thing to do.
“At Vodafone it’s really important to us that our people know they’re valued, and that’s why we take these extra steps to provide the finances and flexibility they need to strike the right work life balance.
“This is over and above what employers are obligated to do – however we believe it’s really important for the wellbeing of our employees, so that we can continue to attract and retain the best talent in Aotearoa,” Antony said.