Volvo (OTCMKTS: VLVLY) announced Tuesday it will begin to offer all employees 24 weeks paid parental leave as a means of standing by female executives and equal parenting. All hourly and salaried workers that have been with the company for a minimum of a year, will qualify for the “Family Bond” program, according to Volvo.
The more than 40,000 employees will be able to make use of the program each time they have a child and will be paid 80% of their base salary throughout the period. The arrangement is valid for parents through birth, adoption, permanent foster care and surrogates. Furthermore, same-sex couples are included as well. The automaker revealed the program would commence this Thursday.
“Some countries do not offer any paid leave to new parents, or exclude certain groups of parents – the latter is particularly true for fathers,” the company said.
Approximately a third of Volvo’s senior managers are female. A spokeswoman said, it hopes to increase those numbers to 50%.
“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,” said Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson.
Samuelsson added that the program is also meant to attract talent and improve retention as it continues the path to become an all-electric manufacturer by 2030.
“It’s something we believe is setting a new standard in the business,” he told CNBC. “We do this, not to introduce some kind of new favorable benefit to our employees, we do it more because we think it’s good for our company. We will be more attractive as an employer. There’s a competition going on for talent.”