As part of a global initiative, Swedish carmaker Volvo has launched a paid gender-neutral parental leave policy offering mothers and fathers a total of six months leave.
The parents will receive 80% pay, and the policy also applies to same-sex and parents of adopted children.
Volvo said that this parental leave policy is the first of its kind in the South African motoring industry.
“As part of Volvo Cars long term strategy of being an employer of choice in South Africa, the new parental leave policy is a welcomed initiative creating an inclusive culture that will continue to retain and attract a diverse group of employees,” said Greg Maruszewski, Volvo Car South Africa MD.
“It will improve work-life balance, boost family time and fits with a progressive human-centric company like ours.”
Maruszewski said that the policy forms part of Volvo’s strategy to not only attract and retain the best people through generous and inclusive paid parental leave packages but also position the company as an employer of choice to both existing and future employees.
Paternity leave changes
In terms of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, a new father is only entitled to three days paid family responsibility leave. However, this was changed in November 2018 when the new Labour Laws Amendment Act was signed into law.
According to law firm Wright Rose-Innes, the Amendment Act introduces parental leave for the other parent (i.e. the parent not claiming maternity leave, namely the biological mother) such as the father.
This parental leave will entitle a father to 10 consecutive days of parental leave to be taken from the date that the child is born.
While the new laws have been assented to by president Cyril Ramaphosa, there has been no clarification as to when the new laws will come into effect.