• Friday, July 12, 2024
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Maersk Group announces improved maternity benefits for employees

Moved by the need to retain talented women working in the Group and also attract even more to gain access to future and wider talent pools the Maersk Group, the global leading shipping, logistics and oil and gas conglomerate is set to implement a new maternity policy that offers improved benefits during and after maternity leave for its employees in Nigeria.

The new policy which is billed to take effect from April 4, 2016 includes 20 percent reduced hours of work at full contractual pay for up to six months after returning to work over the first year after the childbirth or adoption. This phased return programme will enable women to have smoother transition back to work and contribute to increased retention.

The Maersk Group new maternity leave policy makers also a provision for a guaranteed minimum of 18 weeks maternity leaves on full pay for all employees, subject to local workforce regulations. Federal Government of Nigeria is implementing 16-week maternity paid leave policy for pregnant women, irrespective of their marital status and number of babies delivered. The bill is currently before the National Assembly.

“In Nigeria we have currently 107 women working across our different Business Units versus 1173 men, representing 8% of the overall working force. 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” says Bunmi Pratt, head of HR, APM Terminal in Nigeria.

As of February 2015, the Maersk Group had more than 23,000 women employed, and over the last three years an average of approximately 500 women have gone on maternity leave each year of which only 70 percent joined back or continued working with Maersk Group.

The new policy will improve terms for women working for Maersk in at least 51 countries out of the 130 in which the Group operates compared to the statutory minimum. In the US, more than 1,200 women employed will be eligible for 18 weeks of paid leave compared to their current paid leave which is typically 6 weeks. In Panama the typical 12 weeks of paid maternity leave will now be 18 weeks.

“The 18 weeks are optimal for the Maersk Group from a cost/benefit perspective as well as for the employees as this follows the latest recommendations from International Labour Organisation on maternity benefits. When implemented, the new policy is aimed at attracting and maintaining more talented women by giving them the needed time and support they need. Furthermore it will result in additional benefits to the Group for example via reduced hiring costs and productivity loss. Our aspiration is to reach a global best practice maternity retention rate of 90 percent over time,” says David Skov Cluster Maersk Group coordinator in Nigeria and head of APM Terminals.

The new policy also includes one week of paternity leave as, depending on local laws, it will allow the Group to provide some paid leave for the primary caregiver to the new child either male or female.

The Maersk Group is a worldwide conglomerate that operates in some 130 countries with a workforce of over 89,000 employees. Owning the world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk is involved in a wide range of activities in the shipping, logistics, and the oil and gas industries.

The Maersk Group has five core businesses which include Maersk Line, APM Terminals, Maersk Oil, Maersk Drilling and APM Shipping Services, which combines the four business units Maersk Supply Service, Svitzer, Maersk Tankers and Damco.