Vodafone to introduce policy offering four months parental leave

Fully paid leave will be available from April next year

Photograph: PA Wire

Photograph: PA Wire


Vodafone Ireland employees whose partners have a baby will get four months of fully paid parental leave that can be taken any time within the first 18 months of a child’s birth from next April.

Vodafone, which employs more than 2,000 staff here, said the 16 weeks of paid parental leave will be available to any employee whose partner is having a baby, adopts a child or becomes a parent through surrogacy.

As part of the new policy, Vodafone employees will also be able to phase their return from parental leave by working the equivalent of a four-day week at full pay for a further six months.

Vodafone’s policy, which will also launch across its 24 markets, is available to all “non-birthing” parents, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation or length of service.

Women working for the company who have a baby already avail of six months of fully paid maternity leave and return to work for 30 hours per week on full pay for a further six months.

Statutory entitlement

The statutory entitlement for maternity leave in the Republic is 26 weeks together with 16 weeks of additional unpaid maternity leave, should a mother decide to take this. Employers are not obliged to pay women on maternity leave although they may qualify for maternity benefit from the State and some employers top this up.

New parents other than the mother of the child are entitled to two weeks of statutory paternity leave and, like mothers, are not entitled to remuneration from their employer but can claim benefits from the State.

As of November 1st, parents of a child under one year of age are each entitled to a further two weeks leave.

Vodafone’s move follows that of drinks giant Diageo, which earlier this year said employees whose partners have a baby would be able to avail of 26 weeks fully paid paternity leave.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which employs more than 200 staff, also announced on Thursday that it was extending its paternity leave programme. The company has increased paid leave for employees whose partner has a baby from 22 weeks to 26 weeks.

“We are proud to support all families by giving every parent the opportunity to have more time with their children, without worrying about the impact on their finances or careers,” Vodafone group chief executive Nick Read said of the new policy.