Burberry liberalises maternity leave policy as inclusivity drive continues
Burberry took a big step on Thursday and said that it has introduced a new global parental leave policy. This means it will offer all employees 18 weeks of parental leave at full pay and the opportunity to work a 30-hour week at full pay for a further four weeks on their return.
The new policy starts from next April and builds on the company’s existing maternity, paternity, adoption and partner leave commitments to create “a consistent approach for all employees globally who have worked at the company for at least 12 months”.
While it may not have a huge impact in some countries where parental leave policy is already fairly generous, in other countries it will have a big effect. And as well as that effect making Burberry potentially a more attractive place for people to work (and therefore meaning jobs at the company will be more in demand), it will also be important from a PR point of view. Companies today need to win the PR battle and this can be seen across issues such as sustainability, animal rights and the way they treat their own staff. The modern consumer is perfectly happy to boycott a company or shift their business to a company depending on whether they think that firm is ethical or not.
Erica Bourne, Chief People Officer at the business, said: “Creating an environment that is truly open and inclusive is incredibly important to us. We want everyone to have the best possible experience and feel supported to succeed, especially during times of change in life. We believe our new parental leave policy, which is leading in the luxury industry, will make a significant difference to many of our colleagues around the world.”
Burberry already has a strong track record on diversity/inclusivity with the highest proportion of women in its executive team and direct report positions in the FTSE100. Women make up two-thirds of Burberry’s workforce globally.
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