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Vodacom intros gender-neutral leave policy

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Vodacom today announced that all its employees, regardless of their gender and sexual orientation, will be offered 16 weeks (four months) of fully paid parental leave.

According to the company, this means any employee whose partner is having a baby, adopts a child or becomes a parent through surrogacy will have the flexibility to take up to 16 weeks paid leave at any time during the first 18 months.

The telco notes that the move is derived from Vodacom’s new leave policy, which is designed to support families by giving every parent the opportunity to have more time with children new to their family.

Under the new leave policy, employees will also be able to phase their return from parental leave by working the equivalent of a 30 hour week at full pay for a further two months.

Matimba Mbungela, chief human resources officer of Vodacom Group says: “As a company with strong local roots, diversity and inclusion are core to our beliefs and purpose at Vodacom.

“We are proud to support all families by giving every parent the opportunity to have more time with their children, without worrying about the impact on their finances or careers.

“The new parental leave policy further underlines our strong commitment to diversity and gender equality and will make a significant difference to thousands of Vodacom employees, particularly in markets where there is little or no legal requirement to give equal support for both parents.”

In March 2015, Vodacom introduced a maternity policy, offering women across all its markets and operations six months fully paid maternity leave and a 30-hour week at full pay for the first six months after their return to work.

Vodacom launched the ReConnect programme in 2017 to attract talented women who have left the workplace for several years – often to raise a family – who want to return to work but are struggling to make the professional connections needed or refresh the skills required.

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