If this really works then it could be the landmark decision in the field of business for the working women from all around the globe. According to the news published by the Washington Post on 6th March Vodafone Group announced that it will offer 16 weeks of paid maternity leave to employees at all 30 of its companies around the world by the end of this financial year. In addition, returning mothers will be offered a flexible work schedule after their leave is over: for six months, they will be allowed to work 30 hours a week, while retaining their full-time salary. “We think it’s unique in its nature,” said Chuck Pol, president of Vodafone Americas, in an interview with The Washington Post. “It gives us an advantage when we’re working with female employees, not only in our business today but as we recruit people.”
According to Anne Weisberg, senior vice president at the nonprofit Families and Work Institute, called it “very unusual” and “the first of its kind.” Weisberg said the policy could help the company retain women during the critical first year following maternity leave, when many struggle to balance the demands of work and a baby on what is almost always very little sleep. “What Vodafone is doing is saying this is a talent management issue for us, it’s not just about complying with legal requirements,” she said. Indeed, talent retention was one of the very goals Vodafone had in mind when it designed its new policy. On a global level, women comprise roughly 35 percent of Vodafone’s employees, but only 21 percent of its international senior leadership team. Moreover, 65 percent of the women in the past who opted to leave the company following maternity leave did so within the first year.
In rolling out this policy, Vodafone joins a few employers who offer maternity and sometimes paternity leave that goes far beyond the legally mandated minimum of 12 unpaid weeks, including:
# Google: 22 paid weeks for moms, 12 paid weeks for dads.
# Facebook: 17 paid weeks for moms, 17 paid weeks for dads.
# Reddit: 17 paid weeks for moms, 17 paid weeks for dads.
Many of these companies offer similar benefits regardless of whether the new parent gives birth or adopts; some, like Google, even offer fringe benefits like a stipend “for takeout food.”
Hoping some of these policies will be followed by the Indian companies in near future which will help them to retain the required talent and it will send the good message in the HR industry.