Volvo is rolling out the Swedish model of gender-neutral parental leave to all its employees in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
The benefit, inspired by the parental-leave policy of the automaker’s Scandinavian homeland, offers both mothers and fathers a total of six months’ leave at 80% of their salaries. Sweden offers 13 months of paid leave at nearly 80% of the parent’s normal pay and an additional three months paid at a flat rate.
Volvo claims the rollout far exceeds most present arrangements in the additional countries involved and is an industry first. It also suggests the pilot EMEA scheme could be rolled out to its 43,000 employees around the globe, raising questions about whether this could include China, the homeland of Volvo’s parent company Geely.
Volvo says the policy aims to make the automaker more attractive to highly skilled employees and encourage staff retention.
Hanna Fager, Volvo head of people experience, says: “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. It improves life-work balance, boosts family time and fits with a progressive, human-centric company such as Volvo Cars.
“We need to be a truly attractive employer to be able to deliver on our ambitious growth plans. The winners in this battle for talent will be companies that value diversity, modern and flexible working practices and employee well-being.”