Belfast Telegraph

Telecoms giant Vodafone to deliver 'best' maternity deal for global staff

By John-Paul Ford Rojas

Vodafone is to become one of the first multinationals to introduce a worldwide minimum level of maternity pay, it announced yesterday.

It will offer women 16 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave, plus full pay for a 30-hour week for the first six months after their return to work. Chief executive Vittorio Colao said the policy would help more than 1,000 female employees every year in countries which offer little or no statutory maternity care for new mothers.

Vodafone announced the policy as it revealed analysis commissioned from KPMG showed businesses worldwide could save £12.5bn a year by providing 16 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave.

It found recruiting and training new employees to replace women who leave the workforce after having a baby costs £31bn, higher than the £18.4bn cost of the extra benefits.

Mr Colao said: "Too many talented women leave working life because they face a difficult choice between either caring for a newborn baby or maintaining their careers." Employees in the UK will gain from the 30-hour week on full pay for the six months after returning to work.

UK rules grant employees statutory maternity pay for up to 39 weeks, with 90% of average weekly earnings for the first six weeks, and the lower of £138.18 or 90% of earnings for 33 weeks.

Belfast Telegraph