Company pays women "welcome back" bonus after maternity leave!
Announcing your pregnancy at your job can be tricky, to say the least. There have been plenty of cases in which companies have been either unaccommodating about granting maternity leave or unwelcoming after new moms return from their leave. That's why I couldn't believe it when I heard about an Australian company that actually offers women a "back to work payment" for their return.
The Insurance Australia Group--which provides more than three months of paid maternity leave already!--is implementing a new initiative that will double the salaries of new mothers for the first six weeks back at work.
Mike Wilkins, CEO of the company, says he thinks the extra costs will actually be balanced out by the money they save on recruiting new employees."This initiative came out of some discussions that we had with our people and specifically women on the difficulties and pressures that they faced upon returning to the workforce," he said.
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Wow! Personally, I think it's pretty amazing that a company is taking such lengths to ensure that new moms are feeling comfortable and accepted after returning to their jobs--especially these days when so many women put off sharing pregnancy news for fear of getting fired or having their salary slashed post-maternity leave here in the U.S.
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Though I understand some businesses might not have the funds to offer this type of compensation, I hope that others can still follow this company's example and start taking more proactive steps to protect their female employees while they are expecting. After all, no one, including new or soon-to-be moms, should have to deal with an intimidating or unwelcoming work environment.
What do you think of the company's plan?
Image via Clintus McGintus/flickr