• Nestle CEO Mark Schneider
    Nestle CEO Mark Schneider

Nestlé will be rolling out a “more inclusive and enhanced” parental leave policy for its employees worldwide. Primary caregivers will have fully paid leave extended to 18 weeks and for secondary caregivers, an established new minimum of four weeks.

The new gender-neutral policy has extended the primary caregivers leave from 14 to 18 weeks and established a minimum for secondary caregivers, where there had not been a global minimum before.

“Every family is unique, so we have designed a parental support policy that is flexible enough to work for us all,” said Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider.

“Supporting the healthy development of infants has been a core value of our company since our founding. Our new parental support policy is an important part of our efforts to provide children with the best start in life, by allowing parents to spend more time with their new child.”

Nestlé states that is new policy sets new minimum standards and not limits, meaning in some regions the company “may choose to offer more leave than the 18 weeks for primary caregivers and the four weeks for secondary caregivers. The company will always provide longer parental leave if local laws require it.”

The parental support policy also reinforces employment protection, non-discrimination, health protection, availability of flexible working options, and breastfeeding support.

In Australia, the current parental leave requirement in place by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) states that permanent employees are to be provided with a minimum of eight weeks of paid parental leave for primary carers and a minimum of two weeks for secondary carers, which also applies to partners in partnership structures. Both women and men must be given the opportunity to identify as the primary carer.

The Nestlé rollout will begin in 2020 and is expected to be complete internationally by 2022.

In May, international drinks producer Diageo announced it would give all employees 26 weeks of fully paid parental leave, regardless of gender, carer status or length of service.

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