BFM Business

From April 1, the Swedish manufacturer will offer 24 weeks of parental leave compensated at 80%. A measure that aims to promote gender equality.

The Swedish car manufacturer Volvo Cars will offer a six-month parental leave compensated at 80% to its some 40,000 employees around the world, he announced on Tuesday, in particular to promote gender equality. As of April 1, the manufacturer will offer its employees 24 weeks of parental leave at 80% of their salary, which they can distribute as they wish over the three years following the birth of the child.

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%. “The most important thing is that we offer the same to every parent and that we encourage more men to take parental leave,” said the manufacturer’s director of human resources, Hanna Fager.

Encouraging pilot program

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 Hanna Fager. .

“Of course it will cost us money but we see it as a long-term investment”, pleads the person in charge. “It’s the people who 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.


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