Nestl expands parental leave to 18 weeks

Global health and wellness food company Nestl has announced an expansion of its parental leave for staff, moving the benefit from 14 fully paid weeks to 18.

This updated benefit is aligned to the objectives of the global Nestl Parenting Initiative which was borne out of a need to leverage the realities of parenting to change the conversation and make a truly positive impact on parents’ lives across the world, the company said in a news release yesterday ahead of today’s Global Day of Parents observation designated by the United Nations.

Nestl explained that its gender-neutral parental leave benefit which offers parental leave for employees who are primary caregivers — was launched worldwide in 2020 and was adapted locally this year amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Primary caregiver, the company stated, is now expanded to include biological or adoptive parents or guardians who are primarily responsible for the care of a child following his/her arrival into the family.

In addition to the 18 weeks of fully paid leave, the policy establishes a minimum of four weeks’ leave for employees who are secondary caregivers, who are parents or guardians with shared responsibility for the child.

Nestl said the initiative forms part of its ongoing commitment to support families in the first 1,000 days of the newborn’s life.

“This ground-breaking policy recognises and respects the various types of families which form our society, and the critical role that the parent/child bond plays in ensuring healthier and happier homes,” the company stated, adding that it represents a commitment to offer a family-friendly environment with equal opportunities for all.

“We want to make Nestl Jamaica the best place to work, and the most family-friendly company in our industry. A big part of this is encouraging a culture where both men and women can thrive,” the release quotes Nestl Jamaica Country Manager Daniel Caron.

“Our extended parental leave is designed to support all of our colleagues, regardless of their gender or how they became a parent, so that together they can give their child the best start in life,” he added.

The company’s Human Resource Business Partner David Heath agreed.

“Every family is unique, so we have designed a parental support policy that is flexible enough to work for us all. Supporting the healthy development of infants has been a core value of our company since our founding. Our new parental support policy allows parents to spend more time with their new child,” he said.

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