Nope, it’s not an April Fool’s joke and it’s in fact true that beginning today, Volvo’s new “Family Bond” policy will come into effect where employees with at least one year of service will be entitled to 24 weeks of paid parental leave.
The new policy, will benefit some 40,000 Volvo employees around the world, regardless of gender, with 80% of their base pay. The leave can be taken anytime within the three first years of parenthood.
“We want to create a culture that supports equal parenting for all genders. When parents are supported to balance the demands of work and family, it helps to close the gender gap and allows everyone to excel in their careers. We have always been a family-oriented and human-centric company. Through this parental leave policy, we are demonstrating and living our values, which in turn will strengthen our brand,” said Volvo Car, CEO, Håkan Samuelsson.
The global policy is more inclusive compared to existing policies around the world, and includes all legally registered parents, including adoptive, foster care and surrogate parents.
Volvo Car, Marketing and Public Relations Director, Akhtar Sulaiman, “This is a big step for Volvo, in which we are happy to extend the benefits of Family Bond onto our colleagues here in Malaysia. It is indeed empowering to be part of such a progressive-thinking organisation, to deepen our endeavours for competitive employee benefits amidst our positive culture.”
When studying the outcome of its parental leave pilot programme, the company found that employees appreciated the policy for being gender neutral, inclusive and adaptable to personal needs. The studies also resulted in important insights on how to encourage even more employees to take parental leave and make parental leave for both parents the new ‘norm’.
To further show its commitment to reducing the gender gap, Volvo Cars will share its participation results over time so that other companies can learn from its progress.
Volvo Cars’ global policy is inspired by national legislation in its home market of Sweden, famous around the globe for its generous parental leave arrangements, which have delivered tangible benefits for parents and children alike in recent decades.
Volvo Car Malaysia, Head of People Experience, Rema Chetty added, “At Volvo, our focus has always been on people. Family Bond by Volvo Cars is more than a new policy or benefit for employees – it is the embodiment of the company’s culture and values.
“We believe that collaborative, inclusive, and diverse work environment ensures a happy workplace and in turn a successful organisation. We hope with the introduction of this parental leave policy, we can liberate our people to focus the joys of parenthood and be assured of continuous support from the company for their careers,” she added.