Vodafone NZ expands parental leave scheme

New measure to address 'motherhood penalty' has been rolled out

Vodafone NZ expands parental leave scheme

Employees at Vodafone NZ will now receive up to 26 days of additional paid leave in a new scheme introduced by the telecommunications company to enhance its parental benefits. In an announcement, Vodafone introduced its Primary Carer Flexi Return policy, which will grant returning primary carers 26 more leave days that can be flexibly used two years after the birth or adoption of their child.

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Secondary carers will also receive up to 26 days of paid leave under the new Secondary Carer Flexi Leave benefit, which can also be used flexibly over two years, the announcement said.

"This aims to address the challenges faced by partners, who increasingly tell Vodafone they want to have the opportunity to be more involved at home," the telecommunications company said.

Vodafone NZ also vowed to continue paying the superannuation payments for employees on parental leave for an entire year.

"They also top up the government primary carer payments to full pay, for a period of 22 weeks, which will now be paid as soon as the person begins their leave," the company said.

Vodafone said the measure aims to "directly address" the potential loss of Kiwisaver earnings of parents while on parental leave – a contributing factor to the so-called "motherhood penalty," a phenomenon where female employees see lower pay once they become parents.

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The telecommunications company said the new benefits introduced to enhance its parental leave offerings are aligned to their employee promise of "Freedom."

"Our Freedom promise for employees means we'll continue to offer choice to our people. We've already made great strides here launching our work-from-anywhere policy, and we'll have more to announce in the coming months as we continue to build a world-class offer for our people," said Jodie King, chief people officer at Vodafone NZ.

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