Procter & Gamble (P&G) Philippines recently launched Share the Care, a new industry-leading global parental leave program, marking an important milestone in the decades-long Company’s journey to driving positive change in the space of Equality and Inclusion through real action.
P&G’s Share The Care policy sets 8 weeks fully paid parental leave and offers all kinds of parents equal opportunity to care for and bond with biological or adopted children new to their family. New fathers are now enabled to share and support in caregiving duties beyond the standard 7 days mandated by Philippine law.
The groundbreaking parental leave program applies to all employees who are welcoming new children to their families, regardless of gender or marital status. Meanwhile, birth or adoptive mothers continue to receive the 105 calendar days of fully paid maternity leave. This has been in practice at P&G since 2017, ahead of the 2019 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law.
The benefits of building equality into parental leave policy are far-reaching. Research has shown that being at home with children for an extended period of time after birth can both strengthen the parent/child bond and have positive, long-lasting outcomes for child development, such as improved cognitive and emotional outcomes and physical health. Sharing the care has proven to have a positive impact on mothers, considering that when their spouse or partner also takes parental leave, partner involvement in childcare and housework increases, mothers return to work more easily, female employment is higher, and the earning gap is lower. When all parents have access to paid leave, it’s healthy for children and also builds equality in the workplace.
The time to drive equality and inclusiveness into the workplace is now as the new “work from home” normal has meant that work and home are more blended than ever. There is now a real opportunity and responsibility for businesses to use what they have learned last year about agility and flexibility to push equality forward in the workplace and remove the barriers that prevent its advancement.
“P&G values equality and inclusion in the workplace. So we created “Share The Care,” our parental leave program that supports ALL P&G parents to have an equal opportunity to care for and bond with their new children. We want to lead the change in perception around parental roles, such as the outdated stereotype that women should be the sole, full-time caregiver in the early stages of a child’s life. We believe that caring for home and family has no gender. Our bigger aspiration is to create a world free from bias, with equal voice and opportunity for all individuals,” says Raffy Fajardo, P&G Philippines General Manager.
Equality and inclusion have always been crucial values in the P&G culture. The Share The Care program is the newest launched program of P&G’s holistic and integrated campaign called “We See Equal,” which aspires to create a company and a world where equality and inclusion are achievable for all. The company is bringing these values to life in its policies and practices to make a meaningful impact for its employees, brands, partners, and communities. P&G is committed to supporting the individuality and uniqueness of its employees, and by being united in its values and goals people flourish, business thrives, and communities prosper.
P&G Philippines has also designed other programs that drive equality and inclusion in the workplace such as fully paid “Flex Leaves,” which is on top of the standard vacation and sick leaves. This provides employees with quality time to attend to personal needs and once-in-a-lifetime celebrations such as special birthday celebrations, weddings, big anniversaries, or a child’s graduation. P&G also recognizes domestic partners of all genders as policy dependents of employees, making them among the first employers in the country to do so.
The company also continues the implementation of its pioneering flexible Work-From-Home system that had been established since the early 2000s and has been a great enabler for its employees to adjust to the past year and current situation.
“P&G will continue to create a workplace where employees have space and support to be their unique selves and are given equal access and opportunity to succeed. Equality begins at home and P&G is helping make it a reality. By setting a higher standard in both policy and practice, P&G aims to normalize parental leave and positively impact not only individual families and the company, but society as a whole,” concludes Fajardo.