The Executive Director of the Institute of Human Resource Management Practitioners (IHRMP), Ebenezer Agbettor has lauded Diageo, the parent company of Guinness Ghana Brewery Limited, for extending its ambitious new family leave policy to Ghana.
According to him the adoption of the new policy, which offers one month paternity leave for male employees, and six months maternity leave for female employees, with pay, is healthy for corporate Ghana and the country’s labour industry.
Currently, female workers in Ghana are offered a three month maternity leave, while male workers don’t have any statutory paternity leave.
In an interview with ADR Daily, Mr. Agbettor noted that the initiative creates a social balance where men are accorded the opportunity to support their wives during maternity, and also to be around to care for their babies.
Diageo recently announced that it is beginning a global roll-out of its ambitious new family leave policy applicable to employees across its businesses, as part of its effort work to create a fully inclusive and diverse workforce.
The company believes that the new policy will support employees to focus on the joy of raising a young family, while continuing to thrive at work, and ensuring women and men are supported to have time with their babies regardless of where they live and work.
The policy takes effect from July 1, 2019.
The IHRMP Executive Director described the Section 57 (1) of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), which provides female workers a minimum of 12 weeks of maternity leave, as outmoded, and stressed the need for a review of the Act to meet international best practice.
Section 57 (1) states that “A woman worker, on production of a medical certificate issued by a medical practitioner or a midwife indicating the expected date of her confinement, is entitled to a period of maternity leave of at least 12 weeks in addition to any period of annual leave she is entitled after her period of confinement.”
Mr Agbettor, however, acknowledged the cost implication that would come with the extension of maternity leave period and the general adoption of paternity leave, on employers, and called for an open dialogue between the government, employers and organized labour.
Benjamin Nana Appiah/www.adrdaily.com