Women workers in Vodafone Ghana and other Operating Countries across the globe are to benefit from additional weeks of fully-paid maternity leave as part of a new global maternity policy by the Telecommunications giant.
The move makes Vodafone 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.
While a number of Vodafone subsidiaries already offer substantial maternity care terms which will continue as before, the new mandatory minimum 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.
Haris Broumidis, Chief Executive of Vodafone Ghana said:
“We are truly excited about this new policy which will empower our women population. We believe this is a step in the right direction for them to balance their working life with caring for their little ones. There’s no doubt that 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”.
In a related development, Vodafone Group has also announced the outcome of analysis commissioned from Global Accounting firm KPMG which indicates that global businesses could save up to an estimated US$19 billion annually through the provision of 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave. KPMG estimated that:
- recruiting and training new employees to replace women who do not stay in the workforce after having a baby costs global businesses US$47 billion every year;
- offering women 16 weeks of fully paid maternity leave rather than the statutory minimum would cost businesses an additional US$28 billion a year; and
- if businesses were able to retain more women in the workforce after their maternity leave, they could save up to US$19 billion a year and would retain the knowledge and experience of these women with positive consequences for productivity and effectiveness.
Additionally, KPMG estimated that:
- offering mothers a global return-to-work policy equivalent to a four-day week at full pay for their first six months back to work after maternity leave could save working mothers a cumulative US$14 billion in childcare for their new babies; and
- A four-day week would enable mothers to spend a cumulative 608 million additional days with their new-born babies.
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