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Volvo is rolling out a trail programme across its operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) which will see all genders of employees qualify for the same level of parental leave. The new policy will grant six months' parental leave at an 80 per cent salary rate to both mothers and fathers.
Volvo says that the policy is: "more generous and inclusive than most existing national parental leave policies in Europe and is the first of its kind in the car industry" and that it is: "inspired by national legislation in Volvo Cars' 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."
If it's deemed a success, the policy will be rolled out to all of Volvo's 43,000 employees, worldwide.
"The EMEA initiative is one of several activities with the aim to create an inclusive culture and attract and retain a diverse set of people," said Hanna Fager, Head of People Experience (HR). "It improves life-work balance, boosts family time and fits with a progressive, human-centric company such as Volvo Cars."
Volvo says that while in Europe, parental leave is generally enshrined in law, it often discriminates against fathers, or against same-sex couples, hence the importance of companies offering better policies than the law itself requires. It's part of a plan to help Volvo attract the best and brightest in the industry as both it, and Chinese parent form Geely, embark on a major global expansion plan.
"We need to be a truly attractive employer to be able to deliver on our ambitious growth plans," said Hanna Fager. "Attracting and retaining the best people is crucial, and we know that skilled talents will be more selective in their choice of employer. The winners in this battle for talent will be companies that value diversity, modern and flexible working practices, and employee well-being."