Fathers hail Flow Jamaica’s revolutionary parental leave policy

ONE year after introducing its groundbreaking parental leave policy, and stirring a national debate, several of Flow’s male team members are hailing the policy which allows them to take the time off to support their family after the birth of their children.

Under the company’s parental leave policy which was rolled out across all Liberty Latin America (LLA) subsidiaries, male and female employees receive eight weeks of paid leave following the birth of a child, placement of a child with an employee in connection with adoption, foster care or birth of a child via gestational surrogacy. Birth mothers are also provided with up to an additional eight weeks of paid leave for recovery following the birth of a child.
Already, eight male team members have benefitted.

For Omar Shakespeare, customer loyalty specialist, the parental leave facilitated great support to his family.

“During the parental leave period, I was able to bond with my daughter more. It is always great to have both parents around not only during the early stage of the child’s life but throughout their development.

Often, fathers are only acknowledged as providers, but we are also critical support systems for our children and their mothers. I fully endorse parental leave and hope that other organisations will follow the footsteps
of Flow and allow fathers the time off so they can bond with their young ones,” he said.

Reflecting on Flow’s bold move to introduce this policy, Stephen Price, Country Manager at Flow Jamaica stated, “the introduction of the parental leave policy was a defining moment for us. The initial months of your child’s life are critical and having your partner with you makes a world of difference. This policy underscores who we are as an employer and the commitment we are making to our team members and the well-being of their families.”

This ethos was noted by Akeem Hibbert, senior financial analyst, who took advantage of the policy following the birth of his first child.

“The eight weeks provided me with critical bonding time with my daughter.
Also, having that firsthand experience of the early postnatal stage, specifically the recovery period for the mother, provided me with a greater appreciation for what mothers endure.”

Hibbert summarised his appreciation for this important policy in simple terms.
“Kudos to Flow for implementing this policy — it means a lot to fathers.”

Flow is also a keen supporter of the United Nations Women’s initiative, Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which promotes a multi-stakeholder approach to gender equality at the workplace.

Under the programme implemented in partnership with the European Union and International Labour Organization, the WEPs represent an ongoing global thrust to promote gender equality through the private sector, by securing commitments to treat different categories of women and men equitably at work — respect and support human rights and non-discrimination; ensuring the health, safety and well-being of all categories of women and men workers; promoting education, training and professional development; implementing enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women; promoting equality through community initiatives and advocacy; and measuring and publicly reporting on progress to achieve gender equality and economic empowerment.

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