Vodafone has announced that it will become one of the first organisations in the world to introduce a mandatory minimum global maternity policy.
By the end of 2015, women working at all levels across Vodafone’s 30 operating companies in Africa, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the US will be offered at least 16 weeks fully paid maternity leave, as well as full pay for a 30-hour week for the first six months after their return to work.
Other than the United Nations, very few global organisations - and even fewer multinational corporations - have adopted minimum maternity policies of this kind.
The new policy will make a significant difference to the lives of thousands of Vodafone women employees in countries where there is little or no legislative requirement to provide maternity support.
Vodafone’s analysis suggests global businesses could save up to an estimated $19 billion annually through the provision of 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave.
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.
“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.”
Watch Vodafone’s short animated video about the savings such maternity policies could provide below.