While this may not directly concern the horsepower a Volvo vehicle makes, it still deserves highlighting nonetheless. Volvo Cars is opting to give its 40,000-plus employees worldwide, of all genders, paid parental leave under the company's new Family Bond policy. This policy will start on April 1, 2021, and it's not an April Fools' joke.
All employees who have worked with Volvo Cars for at least one year will enjoy the 24 weeks of leave with 80 per cent of their base pay by default. The leave can be taken anytime within the first three years of parenthood and extends to all legally registered parents, including adoptive, foster care and surrogate parents. Family Bond applies to both mother and father, making sure the child starts listening to dad jokes early.
"We want to create a culture that supports equal parenting for all genders," said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. "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 this parental leave policy, we are demonstrating and living our values, which in turn will strengthen our brand."
Akhtar Sulaiman, Marketing and Public Relations Director of Volvo Car Malaysia, said: "This is a big step for Volvo, in which we are happy to extend the benefits of Family Bond onto our colleagues here in Malaysia. It is indeed empowering to be part of such a progressive-thinking organisation, to deepen our endeavours for competitive employee benefits amidst our positive culture."
Rema Chetty, Head of People Experience in Volvo Car Malaysia, added: "At Volvo, our focus has always been on people. Family Bond by Volvo Cars is more than a new policy or benefit for employees – it is the embodiment of the company's culture and values. We believe that a collaborative, inclusive, and diverse work environment ensures a happy workplace and in turn a successful organisation. We hope with the introduction of this parental leave policy, we can liberate our people to focus the joys of parenthood and be assured of continuous support from the company for their careers."
To dispel any doubts about the policy, Volvo Cars offers 24 weeks of parental leave as default. The company has even gone as far as to drop the 'up to 24 weeks to remove any uncertainly over the leave's duration.
Having said that, if a particular country has better parental leave than Volvo's, then that policy takes precedence. Either way, this is a good thing for the child's development.