Employees of Kering who give birth or adopt will have the right to a minimum of 14 weeks of leave with full pay regardless of where they are based, the company said today. Paternity or partner leave will be fixed at a minimum of five days of paid leave.
The Kering group — which includes luxury and fashion brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent and Puma — employs 38,500 staff in almost 60 countries, with local regulations for parental leave varying widely depending on where an employee is based.
The policy aims to provide a minimum standard for any employee who has been with the company for at least a year. The policy will be a particularly dramatic change for the group’s 5,400 U.S.-based staff, who currently receive no paid leave for adoption or paternity and are only paid during part of their first 12 weeks of maternity leave.
In Japan, 2,900 staff will also see a boost — adoptive parents will have paid leave for the first time, while staff who give birth will pass from two-thirds to full compensation. The change is also a boon to staff in countries such as China that mandate higher levels of maternity leave than Kering’s policy, but do not offer any paid leave for adoptive parents.
Less than half of countries require paid maternity leave of two-thirds compensation or more during 14 weeks or longer, according to the International Labor Organization. Staff based in countries where local regulations already mandate higher levels of parental leave will not see a change, the company said.
The policy aims to promote well-being and gender equality in the workplace, the company said. Women make up about 60 percent of Kering’s staff and 50 percent of managers. The company highlighted the inclusive nature of the policy, with adoption benefits and paternity or partner being applied equally for same-sex couples.
“This initiative, which is particularly close to my heart, reflects our enduring commitment to promoting equality between men and women throughout their careers, whatever their personal situations,” Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault said.
The policy is slated to go into effect Jan. 1.