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Volvo to offer all employees 24 weeks paid parental leave

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Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2-min read
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Employees work at the production line of Volvo's Torslanda production plant in Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP
Employees work at the production line of Volvo's Torslanda production plant in Gothenburg, Sweden. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

Volvo (VOLV-B.ST) said on Tuesday that it would opt to give all employees 24-weeks paid parental leave — a move it hopes will support female executives and equal parenting.

More than 40,000 employees, in all plants and offices will benefit from the new policy as of 1 April 2021.

The company said that the "Family Bond" policy will give all employees with at least one year’s service a total of 24 weeks of leave at 80% of their base pay by default. The policy applies to either parent and the leave can be taken anytime within the first three years of parenthood.

“We want to create a culture that supports equal parenting for all genders,” said Håkan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars. “When parents are supported to balance the demands of work and family, it helps to close the gender gap and allows everyone to excel in their careers. We have always been a family-oriented and human-centric company.

"Through the Family Bond programme, we are demonstrating and living our values, which in turn will strengthen our brand.”

Around a third of Volvo's senior managers are currently female.

Volvo Cars said the global policy is inspired by national legislation in its home market of Sweden, famous for its generous parental leave arrangements, which have delivered tangible benefits for parents and children alike in recent decades.

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It follows a parental leave pilot scheme launched in the EMEA region in 2019, in which 46% of all applicants were fathers.

In countries where local regulations offer a more generous parental leave, local regulations will take precedence, the company said.

“This is more than a new parental leave policy for our employees — it is the embodiment of our company culture and values,” said Hanna Fager, head of corporate functions at Volvo Cars.

“We want to lead change in this industry and set a new global people standard. By opting all our employees into paid parental leave, we narrow the gender gap and get a more diverse workforce, boosting performance and strengthening our business.”

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