Caring for employees is a crucial component of the Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Health & Wellness leadership agenda. Its key focus area: to explore means by which the industry can empower employees in communities around the world to pursue healthier lifestyles. As the founding member of the CGF and the Global Co-Lead of the Health & Wellness Program, Nestlé embraces this vision of caring for and promoting the wellbeing of its employees – including that of new parents. It is also one of the many ways Nestlé embodies its purpose – enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.
We want our employees who become parents to know they have our full support – and to know that, when we say this, we mean it.
The first few weeks after you bring a new child into your home is a mix of joy and exhaustion, sleeplessness and excitement. Many are not always able to take time away from work to enjoy this milestone in their lives, missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bond with their child.
Of course, no two families’ experiences are the same. That is because today, more than ever, families are highly diverse. Our new parental support policy, which we have just announced, does not just acknowledge that point – it celebrates it.
For years, we have offered support for new mothers by offering paid maternity leave. We’ve challenged ourselves to do more. So, our new policy works for men and women, and puts in place minimum standards that will apply to all Nestlé organisations around the world.
The policy doesn’t discriminate. It’s gender neutral. It recognises that parental roles are no longer solely defined along gender lines. Parents adopting or fostering can enjoy the same benefits as other families. Same-sex families, too.
Nestlé is strongly committed to the healthy development of infants – and has been devoted to that cause since its inception, more than 150 years ago. Our policy draws on this expertise. It reflects our belief that providing a child with a strong start gives them the best chance to thrive in the years that follow.
If you are going to be the primary caregiver, it doesn’t matter if you are male or female, you’ll be offered 18 weeks of fully paid leave – that’s four weeks more than we used to offer to mothers under the old rules.
The secondary caregiver will be offered four weeks fully paid leave – a first for Nestlé and again offered to both men and to women, wherever they are in the world.
The rollout of the new minimum global standards will begin in January 2020, and although we can’t promise we will get it done everywhere right away, we have pledged to finish the job by the end of 2022.
Earlier this year we asked our employees what could Nestlé do to make their lives easier as working parents. Our new policy reflects many of the suggestions that we received during that exercise.
Some of them were on redefining flexible working arrangements and recognising that parental responsibilities have changed and are still evolving.
Our new Nestlé Global Parental Support Policy will give all our employees the power to decide for themselves what works best in these full-on first few weeks upon the arrival of the new child.
Nestlé doesn’t just celebrate diversity and promote inclusion: It matches words with actions, creating a benchmark for the rest of the industry.
Becoming a parent is life-changing – our people should have the opportunity to embrace the whole experience knowing that we have their back.
This blog post was written and contributed by:
Executive Vice-President, Head of Human Resources