The article under consideration entitled “Another Big Company Steps Up to Improve Maternity Leave” was written by Emily Peck on June 29, 2015. The author provides readers with information about recent changes to the maternity leave regulations at the Nestle company. The distinguishing feature of the innovation refers to the fact that parents will be given fourteen weeks of paid leave. They can also take twelve more weeks of unpaid maternity leave. Fathers who are not primary caretakers will have the right to take one week of paid leave as well. Such a change is extremely beneficial for employees. Most companies do not provide employees with paid maternity and paternity leaves, and Nestle is a leader in this respect.
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The article addresses several concepts. The first concept refers to the treatment of maternity leave as a crucial part of a woman’s life. The history of women’s engagement in work on equal rights with men started from the previous century. Since that time, different issues concerning women’s employment occurred. One of the controversial subjects was the right to maternity leave. Initially, women had no significant rights due to the lack of legal regulation. The situation became better with the implementation of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. However, this policy offered twelve weeks of unpaid leave, and it was rather disappointing that parents could not receive any financial support during such a vital period of their life.
Peck (2015) describes a significant improvement of maternity leave issues. The second core concept refers to the employees’ combination of work and parenthood. Usually, a career required some sacrifices in the form of less time spending with family or not having a family at all. Nestle’s initiative gives employees throughout the world the opportunity to combine both work and parenthood without worrying about losses in the job.
The concepts described in the article are directly related to human resources management and employee benefits. The right to paid maternity leave will influence more than three hundred thousand employees in almost two hundred countries in the world. The primary aim of human resources management is to provide all workers with the best working opportunities, take care of their well-being and further develop as professionals. Such changes in policy will influence employees positively. The efficiency of such a policy has been already proved in Google. The company has introduced a policy that provides mothers with five months of paid maternity leave.
Before that time, the retention rate of women was twice lower in comparison to the retention rate of men. The implementation of a new policy made the rate the same. This example proves that expanding and paid maternity leave is a significant and necessary improvement in human resources management.
The information in the provided article is connected to the topic of the employee benefit in particular. The change in policy is advantageous especially for employees in the U.S. Despite the fact that the U.S. is a country with an advanced economy the maternity leaves regulations are controversial. Most employers prefer the standard policy with twelve unpaid weeks. Such a system is not positive for employees who face difficulty when they have to balance their private life and work.
The author of the article describes a significant moment in the history of human resources management. When large corporations start implementing such policies, they serve as examples for other smaller institutions. The example of Nestle is of great significance because the company is multinational and global. The new policy will impact employees in almost two hundred countries, and such a scale cannot be unnoticed. It is expected that retention rates of women and men will become the same taking into account Google’s experience.
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I believe that the importance of the information of the article is connected to the other issue too. A few years ago, Nestle was highly criticized for its formula for infants. It was estimated that the quality of Nestle’s formula for new mothers in developing countries was worse in comparison to the formula for mothers from more developed regions. In the provided article, it is written that Nestle pays particular attention to the fact that mothers should be given time for their children, especially because of breastfeeding. This statement demonstrates the company’s concern for the mother and infant’s health and the significance of breastfeeding.
The initiative of Nestle has shown the importance of respecting people’s rights to have a private life. Severe work conditions make people sacrifice either their careers or private life. Nestle has moved forward towards the elimination of this gap.
My recommendation to organizations that may have the same issue is to analyze the retention rate of women and men first. It is necessary to evaluate the efficiency of maternity leave policies and employees’ satisfaction in this respect too. In case the unpaid maternity leaves influence women’s career negatively, the company should consider changing policies. I do not state that all companies should have the same policies as Nestle, but I do support employers’ intentions to meet and satisfy employees’ demands.
Peck, E. (2015). Another Big Company Steps Up to Improve Maternity Leave. Web.