Volvo announced today a new program that makes becoming a new parent a little easier. The company says it’s opting the entirety of its 40,000-plus global workforce into its new Family Bond policy that provides a generous parental leave package. Employees with at least one year’s service receive a total of 24 weeks of leave at 80 percent of their base pay. The program begins on April 1.

“This is more than a new parental leave policy for our employees – it is the embodiment of our company culture and values,” said Hanna Fager, Volvo’s head of corporate functions. Every employee is opted into the program by default to encourage workers to use the time available to take at any point during the first three years of parenthood. It’s also an all-gender policy that includes adoptive, foster care, and surrogate parents as well as non-birth parents in same-sex couples.

Not every country offers paid parental leave, such as the US, which Volvo noted. The company also recognized the lack of any paid leave to specific groups of parents, like fathers. The company launched a pilot parental leave program a few years ago that saw 46 percent of all applicants being fathers. The pilot program also provided the company with insights into how to encourage employees to use the new program.

Volvo’s new Family Bond program replaces its current one that allows for six weeks of pay leave to be used in the first year of parenthood. It’s also more generous than many other company policies in the industry. CNBC notes that General Motors and Stellantis both offer up to 12 weeks. Ford offers up to 16 weeks for birth mothers and up to 8 weeks otherwise. Volvo said it to lead a change in the industry, and this is one way to do that.   

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