Men working at Flow are now entitled to paternity leave, while women would be getting an extra month of maternity leave.
This is because Barbados’ leading telecommunications provider has unveiled a groundbreaking parental leave policy for all full-time staff.
Officially introduced on June 1, employees of Flow can now look forward to benefitting from paid maternity leave of 16 weeks and paid paternity leave of eight weeks.
The new policy, which was developed by parent company Liberty Latin America, will also provide paid leave to employees following the birth of a child via surrogacy.
Thirty-eight-year-old Flow employee Janelle Waterman, the first worker to benefit from the extra month maternity leave, said she was looking forward to spending those extra weeks home with her three-month-old son Chance who she described as a bubbly, peaceful child who only cries when he is hungry.
“I am back at work now, but I can’t wait to be back home, spending time with him. You see when we do the 12 weeks; you have to try to wean the baby off of breast-feeding from very early to prepare him for when you come back out to work. And, you miss a lot of important developments in the baby’s life. So an extra month for me, feels great,” she said.
Waterman explained that returning to work after a three-month maternity leave after the birth of her first child, was tiring because her body was just not ready to be thrown back into work, especially since she was a first-time mom.
“So I think this is great. I think that other companies should join with Flow and give this to the parents,” the Flow employee of four years who works in the Quality Assurance Department said.
“Evolving our parental leave policy, quite simply, is the right thing to do,” said Kerry Scott, Chief People Officer, Liberty Latin America.
“We recognize that diversity drives success, and family dynamic and structures have changed. Our new policy demonstrates our commitment to a culture of diversity and inclusion and one that puts our people at the heart of our success,” Scott added.
Meanwhile, Jensen Sylvester, Country Manager of Flow Barbados welcomed the new policy and described it as a seminal moment for the company.
“As a business leader, I’m very proud that we’ve introduced such an innovative and progressive policy. Equally, as a father myself, I know the value of creating special moments with your newborn, so I’m proud to be part of an organisation that truly values its people,” Sylvester said.
“The same way we create moments that matter for our customers each day, we also want our team members to enjoy the special moments in their life and there’s nothing more special than the birth of a child. It’s initiatives such as this that make us one team and demonstrates our unique company culture,” Sylvester added.
Flow’s Corporate Communitions and Public Relations Manager Marilyn Sealy said that Flow implemented the parental leave policy because it was the right thing to do.
“We would have had parents, mothers and fathers who would have gone off on leave and they would have wanted more time to be with their children before coming back out to work, and our parent company Liberty Latin America recognizes this.
“This policy puts our people at the heart of our success.”