Telenor’s six month maternity leave policy

In October 2015 Telenor Group announced that all women across the company’s 8 markets were entitled to a minimum of six months paid maternity leave. This company policy particularly impacted five of Telenor’s Asian markets, where the local standard is less than six months. The move was an effort to strengthen Telenor’s competitiveness in these countries by attracting and retaining the best women talents.

Upon the announcement of the new maternity leave policy, Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke said, “We are confident that the costs of an improved maternity leave policy are outweighed by the savings of reduced staff turnover and the increased competitiveness we anticipate from a more diverse and equitable workplace.”

The personal impact

Sandy Low is a second time mom and works with customer insights in Digi. She says, “Babies are most fragile the first six months. It was great for me to be able to welcome and bond with the baby 24/7, especially when there is also another elder kid at home. This six month leave has really made it easier for me – juggling between two kids, giving enough attention to both. I’m relieved from feeling guilty, leaving work undone. I now return to work more energized, positive and passionate!”

Syeda Sadaf Raza is a second time mom and a support specialist in the Human Capital Division in Telenor Pakistan. She says, “I feel very lucky to have pulled off this important responsibility the best way I could, which is difficult for many working women I know. If it wasn’t for the six month minimum maternity leave policy, I probably would have left my job because raising two kids, one of them a newborn, with fulltime commitment at work, would have been quite challenging. I believe, such measures increase the motivation, and hence the productivity, of both male and female employees and give them another reason to stay at the company. The policy helps parents focus at work when everything back home is settled in terms of wellbeing of their children, because family comes first.”

Christine Khin Htwe Win is a first time mom and works in the Marketing Department for Telenor Myanmar. She says, “There are pros and cons for the company for initiating this policy. The company may have higher operation costs for manning arrangement. But as a benefit, it will save more time and cost for training newcomers. But for the employees, it is great benefit which no other companies in Myanmar have done yet.  And this policy also strengthens competitiveness in the market as we are one of the first to introduce the policy. This also helps to have more female leaders in the business industry, I believe.” 

Orraphan Saengsawat is a first time mom and works in the Digital Innovation and Analytics department. She says, “I am thinking about all the women whom this policy has impacted and will impact. They will be thankful to the organization for investing in and creating more value for employees like me.”

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