Continental enhances leave and flexible-working benefits for US staff

Technology and tyre manufacturing organisation Continental has enhanced the leave and flexible-working benefits available to its 18,000 US staff, including extending its parental leave policies and introducing sabbatical leave.

The enhanced maternity leave will allow new mothers to take an additional two weeks off work to spend with their newborns. The paid leave will be offered in conjunction with the statutory Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which enables mothers to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave over a 12-month period to care for their new baby.

The organisation has also introduced paternity leave, allowing fathers to take up to two weeks of paid leave during the first 12 weeks of their child’s birth or adoption.

Alongside the leave arrangements, Continental has expanded its telecommuting policy to enable more employees to work from home or work more flexibly. The policy is now available to all employees, whether they are office-based or work in a manufacturing location, providing their job duties can be performed at an offsite location.

In addition, Continental has introduced a new sabbatical leave policy. Full-time employees will be able to apply for an unpaid sabbatical for up to one year. Part-time employees will be able to reduce their working hours and work volume to be able to accommodate personal needs.

Rick Ledsinger, vice president, human relations at Continental North America Region and Tire the Americas, said: “Our HR team worked with business leaders to deploy the best flexible work options that meet the needs of our working parents. We hope our parental leave policy helps employees achieve needed work-life balance and put their abilities to best use.

“By offering a variety of flexible work options, our employees and Continental will both benefit equally. […] Our expanded flexible work options advance our recruiting and retention strategies, and send a strong signal in the global competition for the best and most suitable talent.”