Vodafone share price: Company promises equal maternity leave for all female staff
Vodafone Group Plc (LON:VOD) has announced a new programme, under which the company will provide at least16-weeks fully paid maternity leave for all new mothers working across its 30 operating divisions around the globe. In addition, they will be offered full pay for a 30-hour week for the first six months after their return to work. Vodafone said that the programme will be fully implemented across all of its divisionsin Africa, the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the US by the end of this year.
The initiative will make the UK mobile carrier one of the first organisations in the world to offer new mothers equal minimum maternity leave, regardless of whether the countries they work in mandate it. Vodafone’s chief executive officer commented:
“Too many talented women leave working life because they face a difficult choice between either caring for a newborn baby or maintaining their careers.Our new mandatory minimum global maternity policy will support over 1,000 Vodafone women employees every year in countries with little or no statutory maternity care.”
The group cited KPMG analysis, which indicated that global businesses could save up to $19 billion per annum, if they were to adopt similar policies. KPMG estimates that recruiting and training new employees to replace women who do not stay in the workforce after having a baby costs global businesses $47 billion every year. At the same time 16-weeks fully paid maternity leave, which could help companies retain more women in the workforce after their maternity leave ends, would cost businesses $28 billion a year.
In today’s trading, Vodafone shares were down 0.9 percent at 224.30p, as of 08:52 UTC. The company’s market capitalisation currently stands at £59.3 billion.
According to the Financial Times, the 23 analysts offering 12 month price targets for Vodafone have a median target of 235.00p, with a high estimate of 285.00p and a low estimate of 130.00p. As of March 01, 2015, the consensus forecast amongst 39 polled investment analysts covering Vodafone has it that investors should hold their position in the company. This stance has been maintained since the beginning of this month, when the sentiment of investment analysts deteriorated from “outperform”.
As of 13:33 GMT, Friday, 06 March, Vodafone Group plc share price is 222.78p.
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