Volvo Cars has today (1 April) announced the global roll out of its brand new ‘Family Bond’ paid parental leave policy after a successful pilot of the scheme in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The policy – an all gender-neutral, paid parental leave of 24 weeks at 80% pay – will now be offered to all employees globally who have at least one year’s service.
The leave is available to all new parents working for Volvo and includes not just biological parents, but those who adopt or have children through surrogacy.
Gemma Denes, people experience director, Volvo Car UK, said: “Family Bond was first trialed in 2019, with the aim of us demonstrating our commitment to live our values of being a people-first business, and of course, giving staff that all important time with their new child.”
She added: “The results of the trail were fantastic. Particularly encouraging was the fact that 46% of men took up the option of taking the paid parental leave.”
The 24-week period incorporates the time off that new parents get as part of their statutory leave, and the 80% pay promise will kick in after their statutory pay ends, which in the case of the UK is 90% for two weeks.
Although the leave isn’t mandatory, Denes said she wants to encourage staff to take up the policy. To drive this, the scheme has been make as flexible as possible, with new parents able to take the time off within the first three years of their new child’s arrival.
She explained: “The leave very much ties in with Swedish societal values of family, and we wanted to share these values globally.”
She added: “It’s very much about Volvo recognising how important work and life is, and supporting staff as they establish that all-important first bond with their child. We feel it really supports and engages our people.”
To encourage take-up, Volvo confirmed it would communicate the policy as a ‘pre-selected’ option for new joiners, so that it become the ‘default’ choice of staff.