The Swedish car manufacturer wants to promote gender equality within its group. From April 1, Volvo Cars will offer its 40,000 employees around the world a six-month parental leave compensated at 80% of their salary. Employees of the automotive group will be able to distribute this leave as they wish, during the three years following the birth of the child. “Most importantly, we offer the same to every parent and encourage more men to take parental leave.», Affirmed the director of human resources of the builder, Hanna Fager.
This policy, open to employees with one year of seniority, is inspired by Swedish legislation where the parental leave policy is among the most generous on the Old Continent, with 480 days – or nearly 16 months – to be shared between both parents, most of them compensated at 80%. Volvo, which currently employs around 75% men, has carried out a pilot program in Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2019, testing the measure with its salespeople: 46% of leave was taken by fathers.
«It is clearly rare in the automotive industry but also geographically: we have a lot of employees in China and the United States for whom it will be a big step forward compared to what they benefit from today.», Underlines the HRD. “Of course it will cost us money but we see it as a long term investment», Pleads the person in charge. “People make the difference so we need to continue to attract talent».
Before Volvo, other Swedish groups implemented long-term parental leave for their employees, such as the world leader in online music Spotify, which in 2015 announced a measure similar to Volvo’s. Ikea had also announced paid parental leave programs of several months, in India and the United States in particular.