The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has introduced a gender-neutral parental leave policy to all of its employees.
The stock exchange said that all employees now qualify for a period of four months paid parental leave, regardless of their gender or gender identity under the new parental leave policy.
“Our society is ever-evolving and companies should adapt to these changes. We can never achieve diversity in its true sense when a critical component of diversity such as inclusion remains a pipe dream,” said Donald Khumalo, director of Human Resources at the JSE.
“It is with this in mind that we have revised all of our policies to ensure that they are gender-neutral and are in line with an inclusive society that we operate in.
“This is an important move for us because this gender-neutral policy brings us much closer to eliminating gender stereotyping which is in line with the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainability Goals. These goals call for companies to do away with policies that perpetuate gender bias and stereotyping,” he said.
Khumalo said that the newly adopted parental leave policy makes provision for all JSE employees who are expecting a child to take parental leave to spend time with their newborn and/or adopted baby.
Parents who have achieved successful surrogacy also qualify for fully paid parental leave – no one is left behind or excluded, which is the premise of the policy.
“Employees have a choice in terms of how they want to take their parental leave. They can take it over four consecutive months or stagger it allowing the first partner to take the initial four months and the second partner to be home for the next four months.
“This enables a child to have eight months of uninterrupted parental care.”
Khumalo said that policy also aims to position the JSE as an employer of choice in the financial services sector.