Telenor initiates global maternity leave policy

November 2, 20157:01 am284 views

Starting next year, Total Access Communication (Dtac)’s employees will be able to take a six-month paid maternity leave. The same benefit will also be available to female employees working for Telenor’s units in other 12 markets.

Notably, the six-month period is above the legal three-month requirement in Thailand and India. The six-month paid maternity leave has been a policy of Norway’s Telenor, a major shareholder of the Thai telecom company. It is also now applying this as a global policy for all 13 markets.

More than 36 per cent of Telenor’s global workforce of 33,000 people is women. In Myanmar, women represent close to 40 per cent of all employees, across all functions and job levels.

In a statement, the company said the new policy is aimed at strengthening its competitiveness and driving talent retention.

“This is about strengthening Dtac’s competitiveness in the market. In order to do that, we rely on attracting the best talent from diverse backgrounds to drive innovation and better performance. We consider it a highly strategic move and this will present a significant difference in the market,” said Lars Norling, the company’s CEO.

In Telenor’s Asia operations, with the exception of Bangladesh, female employees are entitled to less than six months of funded maternity leave per local regulations and personnel practices.

As a result, women may decide to leave the workforce to have children, and as internal Telenor surveys reveal, some may not return, resulting in lost leadership opportunities and cost from staff turnover.

“We know that a diverse workforce drives innovation and better performance. With the goal of ensuring that our organisation better reflects the world we live in, and in order to attract, retain, and develop female leadership talent, we are instituting a minimum six-month paid maternity leave as standard for our employees everywhere we operate,” said Sigve Brekke, president and CEO of Telenor Group.

To Petter Furberg, CEO of Telenor Myanmar, the revised maternity leave policy will make Telenor not only a very attractive place to work for men and women, but also a place in which women can build careers and continue to fill the ranks of our leadership.

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