Recently, announced that beginning Jan. 1 2018 it will offer at least 16 weeks paid maternity leave to its female employees worldwide. This move is "a first" in the industry to offer such benefits. In the U.S., Shell is proud to implement a new eight-week, paid Parental Leave that is gender neutral, encourages broad, equal roles in building both successful careers and families and honors the increasingly diverse ways in which families are established and defined. Therefore, fathers can participate in this new policy.
While parental leave is specific to the U.S. and Canada, each country is implementing the global 16-week standard as appropriate for their local need /requirements. Shell's current maternity leave policies are determined locally, based on country regulation and typically aligned with local market practice. Levels of maternity vary significantly between countries and some 45 countries will be affected by this minimum standard as their local policies do not currently provide this level of maternity leave on full pay.
For example, In Canada, Shell will expand its current offering of 6 weeks paid leave for birth mothers by introducing a 10-week paid leave for all parents, including fathers and adoptive parents, and giving 16 weeks paid leave for birth mothers. This will be paid as a top up to existing benefits and will be in addition to the job protected unpaid leave offered per provincial legislation.
On the Shell.com website, Exploration Geologist, Claire Punins, who led the internal program to establish the framework, said, “For Shell, this is a very significant step in the right direction for equality,” “All women should receive the support they need as new mothers, regardless of where they are in the world,” Punins wrote. “Having a global maternity standard at Shell is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes business sense. It makes us more attractive to women seeking jobs, and means they stay with us for longer.”
Downstream Executive Director John Abbott feels this new standard will give prospective employees an insight into Shell’s commitment to being progressive and inclusive. “The true hallmark of our progress is that inclusion is embedded in everything we do,” he says.
“Introducing this minimum standard for paid maternity leave across Shell is good for our people and for our business, and, in my view, is simply the right thing to do.”
Josh Levs, global expert on these policies and author of All In said, "I congratulate Shell. This is a big step forward in creating an "all-in" workplace. When companies give everyone an equal opportunity to be a care giver, equality thrives. Making parental leave available to both dads and moms is proven to increase both profits and women in leadership."
Levs added that implementation is key -- any companies can have the best policies. Levs works with companies to optimize results.
To read more about the program, click here.