Maersk Group has announced the introduction of a new maternity policy that is aimed at increase the retention of women employees following childbirth or adoption, improving benefits during and after maternity leave for employees globally.
The new policy that will come into effect from April 4, includes a programme allowing a phased reintegration to work and a global guaranteed minimum of 18 weeks maternity leave on full pay for all employees, subject to local workforce regulations.
As per current maternity leave policy in Hong Kong, women can be granted only 10 weeks of paid maternity leave.
"In Hong Kong, we have currently over 270 women working across our different Business Units, representing 50 per cent of the overall working force," said Maersk Line's Asia Pacific chief Robbert Van Trooijen.
"For Maersk Line, we have 116 women employees. This new policy supports our aim to retain the talented women working in the group and attract even more to gain access to future and wider talent pools and strengthen our business results," he said.
In research conducted for Maersk Group by KPMG, evidence suggests that maternity leave policies have an influence on the labour market participation by contributing to higher employment rates of women.
Besides the 18 weeks maternity leave, the new policy also includes a "Return to work" programme which gives onshore employees the opportunity to work 20 per cent less at full pay for up to six months after returning to work within the first year.
Based on previous analysis conducted by KPMG,it costs global businesses $47 billion every year to recruit and train new employees to replace women who do not stay in the workforce after maternity leave.
The new policy also includes one week of paternity leave and depending on local laws.
Source : HKSG.