MEDIA RELEASE - Expectant mothers employed by Vodafone New Zealand can look forward to a new level of financial support and flexibility thanks to a pioneering new maternity policy launched across Vodafone operating companies globally.
A bold new policy will mean primary caregivers* who return to Vodafone within 12 months receive full pay for a 30-hour week for the first six months. The result? New parents can spend an extra day at home each week during the critical development stages of a child's life.
In addition, soon-to-be mothers will be offered 16 weeks pro-rata paid leave, through an improved company initiative that tops up the government’s Paid Parental Leave to full pay. The move coincides with the increase in Paid Parental Leave being introduced by the government on 1 April, 2015, which is also when Vodafone’s new policy comes in to effect.
“Family is important to us and we’re always looking for ways to make things easier for our mums and caregivers. Juggling career, family and life can be tricky, so we want caregivers in our organisation to know we offer both support and flexibility when they choose to return to work to progress their careers. Our initiative is a special way of ensuring that we support our people; our most valuable resource," says Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners.
"Through our new policy, we estimate a working parent could save around $1800** in childcare in their first six months back and be able to spend an additional 240 hours with their child," he says.
The company wants to attract and retain talented women and recognises that providing a compelling maternity policy is key.
“At the moment, 37 per cent of our employees in New Zealand are female, with women making up 38 per cent of our senior leadership team. We believe this new maternity policy will play an important role in helping to increase those figures,” adds Stanners.
The New Zealand policy forms part of a wider initiative globally. Vodafone Group has become one of the first organisations in the world to introduce a mandatory minimum global maternity policy. Women working full time across Vodafone’s 30 operating companies will be offered 16 weeks fully paid maternity leave, as well as full pay for a 30-hour week for the first six months. Vodafone estimate that this policy will support over 1,000 Vodafone women across its footprint every year, including some countries with little or no statutory maternity care.