~ 16 weeks paid leave for new mothers; 8 paid weeks for new fathers ~
PHILIPSBURG — As the world prepares to celebrate Father’s Day, the importance of paid parental leave is being underscored by leading telecommunications provider UTS.
Since the introduction of the company’s ground-breaking parental leave policy, which provides paid maternity leave of sixteen weeks and paid paternity leave of eight weeks, several mothers and fathers within the Dutch Caribbean have benefitted from paid time off to be with their newborns.
The policy, which was introduced in June 2019 by parent company Liberty Latin America across all UTS markets in the Caribbean, provides paid leave to all full-time employees following the birth of a child or the birth of a child via surrogacy.
“Our parental leave policy demonstrates our commitment to a culture of diversity and inclusion and one that puts our people at the heart of our success. In the last year, it has become one of the hallmarks of our people portfolio,” said Valerie Brunken, People Manager, UTS.
“Evolving the policy, quite simply, was the right thing to do and we are very proud to be one of the few companies around the region that provides this enhanced facility to our staff. Likewise, we want to encourage other corporate players and stakeholders to explore offering the same to their workforces.”
Brunken also noted the company viewed its parental leave policy as an investment in its people rather than an operational expense. Previously, the company provided fourteen weeks paid leave for new mothers and one week paid leave for new fathers.
“This policy is one of the best investments we can make because it puts our people first. There is also a wealth of information that illustrates the benefits of paid parental leave not just for parents, but also for children, the wider community and companies. We want our team to be able to enjoy their special moments and there’s nothing more special than welcoming a new child.”
Charlesworth Sydney, Country Manager of UTS Eastern Caribbean, also emphasized the benefits of the policy. “Family dynamics and structures have evolved over time but we recognize that diversity and adaptability will continue to drive our success. Our parental leave policy tangibly demonstrates our commitment to a culture of diversity and inclusion and we are proud to have it available to our staff,” he said.