As part of a global initiative, Swedish carmaker Volvo Car South Africa has launched a gender-neutral paid parental leave policy for its employees, which gives mothers and fathers a total of six months of leave with 80% pay. This is also applicable to same-sex parents and parents of adopted children.
Known across the globe for its generous parental leave arrangements, Volvo’s parental leave policy will be the first of its kind in the South African motoring industry delivering tangible benefits for both parents and children.
“As part of Volvo Car’s long-term strategy of being an employer of choice in South Africa, the new parental leave policy is a welcomed initiative creating an inclusive culture that will continue to retain and attract a diverse group of employees,” says Greg Maruszewski, Volvo Car South Africa Managing Director. He continues, “It will improve work-life balance, boost family time and fits with a progressive human-centric company like ours.”
South Africa is known to offer forms of paid parental leave that often have a large discrepancy between what is available to mothers and fathers – often to the disadvantage of fathers. Equal parental leave, like the kind Volvo is instituting, offers the potential to boost labour market and career opportunities for women by reducing career and pay gaps.
“The winners in this battle for talent will be companies that value diversity, gender equality, modern and flexible working practices and employee well-being,” says Maruszewski. “Attracting and retaining the best people is crucial and we know that skilled talent will be more selective in their choice of employer.”
The new policy forms part of Volvo Car SA’s people strategy to not only attract and retain the best employees through generous and inclusive paid parental leave packages, but also to position Volvo Car SA as an employer of choice to both existing and future employees.