Vodafone New Zealand introduces flexible return policy for carers

Vodafone, Zurich, and Natwest recognised as top global employers for LGBT inclusionVodafone New Zealand has updated its parental leave offering with a flexible return policy, in order to help primary and secondary carers among its 2,000 employees navigate the first years with a new child.

Primary and secondary carers have been given a matching 26 days of additional paid leave, to be taken flexibly during the two years following birth or adoption. This is an increase on the previous allowance of 10 days.

Vodafone also addressed the ‘motherhood penalty’, which sees primary carers lose retirement – known as superannuation or Kiwisaver – earnings while on parental leave. In order to address this, the business committed to continue paying superannuation contributions at 4% for primary carers during parental leave, up to a maximum of 52 weeks.

It will also top up the New Zealand government’s primary carer payments to full pay for 22 weeks, which will now be paid as soon as leave begins.

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According to Vodafone, these updates have been made in order to champion equity, support primary carers’ advancement in the workplace and offer financial security at a time when it matters.

Jodie King, chief people officer at Vodafone New Zealand, said: “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.”