In order to increase the retention of women following childbirth or adoption, Maersk Group has introduced a new global policy which aims to provide a minimum of 18 weeks full pay maternity leave for new mothers, followed by a phased reintegration to work over the next six months, allowing an opportunity of four-day work weeks.
The new policy also includes one week of paternity leave in the first week, following a birth or adoption of a new baby, which will come into effect from April 4, 2016.
In the Netherlands, where statutory maternity leave is extensive and generous, this new standard represents an improvement over what is required by law.
Susanne Marston, Vice President and General Counsel at APM Terminals (APMT) Headquarters in Hague, said: “We wanted to make our company a better place to work and this policy supports that culture.
“We want to retain the talent we have in place and provide support during these critical moments for parents.”
In 2015 the Maersk group has employed more than 23,000 women worldwide, approximately 500 having taken maternity leave.
A study on the retention of female employees after childbirth in 76 countries across the Maersk group shows that between 2012 and 2014, the maternity retention rate was less than 70%.
The company’s aspiration is to encourage 90% of female employees to return to work after childbirth.
International consulting firm KPMG research concluded it costs global businesses US$47 billion annually to recruit and train new employees to replace women who choose not to stay in the workforce after maternity leave.
Kim van Haastrecht, Chief Counsel Competition Compliance at APMT in Hague is expecting her first child and is one of the many APMT employees who will benefit from the new maternity policy.
Having been entitled to a minimum of 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, the new policy is expected to allow her to receive up to an additional two weeks and the opportunity to work four-day workweeks for the next half year.
Kim van Haastrecht said: “In the Netherlands, the maternity and parental leave already provides the opportunity to parents to take joint-responsibility for their family situation.
The benefit of this policy is that it provides extra flexibility when returning to the workplace after maternity leave.