On March 30, Volvo announced that all of its 40,000 employees, employed for a year or more, will be entitled to a six-month parental leave at 80% of their salary. Employees can take those weeks anytime during the first three years after the birth of their child.
To better understand the program, and the company’s culture, IndustryWeek asked Volvo Car USA Head of HR Americas Mikael Rampa a few questions.
IW: What were the challenges the company faced that led to the creation of the Family Bond?
MR: There wasn’t a problem. We simply introduced the Family Bond policy to make it clear that Volvo Cars is a modern and progressive company that promotes inclusion, flexibility and putting employees first. We support and encourage all parents to take their full leave time, where they can choose to receive 24 weeks of paid leave at 80% of their salary or 19 weeks of paid leave at 100% of their salary. It’s important for us to build a culture that supports equal opportunity for ALL parents to spend time with their child.
IW: What type of structure was created to study the issue, create the policy and then communicate it to the workforce?
MR: We ran a pilot in Europe to study potential outcomes. We observed 37 employees (54% mothers and 46% fathers) who applied for the parental leave program. This gender-neutral and inclusive policy represented different family circumstances, was compliant with local legislation, and adaptable to personal needs. The findings demonstrated…