Volvo offers 6-month parental leave to its 40,000 employees

PARENTAL LEAVE – Another step towards gender equality. The Swedish car manufacturer Volvo will offer a six-month parental leave compensated at 80% to its 40,000 employees around the world, he announced this Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in particular to promote gender equality.

As of April 1, the manufacturer will offer its employees 24 weeks of parental leave that 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 in Europe, with 480 days (i.e. almost 16 months) to be divided between the two. parents, most of them compensated at 80%.

A concern for equality between the two sexes, explains the director of human resources, Hanna Fager, to AFP that “the most important thing is that we offer the same thing to each parent and that we encourage more men to take their parental leave.”

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.

“A long-term investment”

“It’s 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.

For the manager, it is “a long-term investment”, but also an attractive element in a company. “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.

What is the situation in France?

When are the French? In France, men and women can benefit from one year of parental leave, by proving one year of seniority in the company on the date of the birth of the child or, in the event of adoption, of his arrival at the home (before the age of 16).

If this seniority condition is met, the employer cannot refuse the request for parental leave, regardless of the size of the company. More importantly, the person having benefited from this leave must return, at the end of it, to his or her job or a similar job with at least equivalent remuneration.

In a live on social networks, September 28, 2020, Adrien Taquet proposed to fundamentally reform parental leave so that it is shorter (probably 4 months per parent maximum) and better paid (unspecified). The stated objective is to provide better support for the first 1000 days of the child while ensuring a better sharing of tasks between the parents.

It is exactly the same logic that led the government of François Hollande to shorten parental leave for the first time in 2012, by limiting it to a maximum of 2 years for a parent (against 3 years beforehand). Nearly 250,000 childcare places were to be created in parallel to accommodate all the children that parents could no longer keep.

See also on The Huffpost: To get really involved in your paternity leave, here’s how


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