As the world celebrates the Global Day of Parents (June 1) Nestlé has launched a more inclusive and enhanced Parental Support Policy for its operations in the Anglo Dutch Caribbean (ADC) region. The Parental Support Policy, which applies to Nestlé globally, creates minimum standards based on gender neutral caregiver status, and takes into account a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional family structures.
This updated benefit is aligned to the objectives of the global Nestlé Parenting Initiative – an initiative born out of a need to understand the realities of parenting, to change the conversation, and to make a truly positive impact on parents' lives around the world. The Initiative forms part of Nestlé’s ongoing commitment to support families in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.
“Our ground-breaking policy recognises and respects the varying types of families which form our society, and the critical role that the parent-child bond plays in ensuring healthier and happier homes,” says Nestlé’s Head of Market ADC, Patricio Torres, “It forms part of Nestlé’s commitment to offer a family-friendly environment, with equal opportunities for all.”
Under the new Parental Support Policy, special accommodations for parents are no longer restricted to birth mothers. The policy expands the definition of Primary Caregivers to include biological or adoptive parents or guardians who are primarily responsible for the care of a child following his or her arrival into the family. This, for example, means that if a child’s father is the primary caregiver he will be entitled to the benefit. Primary caregivers are also now entitled to 18 weeks of fully paid leave, with the option for additional 3 months unpaid leave, up from the previous 14-week allowance for maternity leave.
The Policy goes even further by introducing a minimum of four weeks’ leave for Secondary Caregivers; this benefits parents or guardians with shared responsibility for a child who has now joined into the family.
“Supporting the healthy development of infants has been a core value of our company since Nestlé was founded,” says Kristin Martinez, Head of Human Resources at Nestlé Anglo Dutch Caribbean, “and we know that a child’s first 1,000 days are key to establishing a lifelong healthy future. Our new parental support policy is an important part of our efforts to provide children with the best start in life, by ensuring that parents can spend more time with them during this critical period.”
“We also recognise that every family is unique, so we have designed a parental support policy that is flexible enough to work for us all. We want to respect the varying types of families which form our society by supporting all of our colleagues, regardless of their gender or how they became a parent, so that together they can give their children the best start in life,” she adds.
Nestlé’s enhanced Parental Support Policy also reinforces employment protection, non-discrimination, health protection, the availability of flexible working options, as well as breastfeeding support.