Drinks giant Diageo announces new family leave policy in the spirit of Women's Month

Diageo South Africa, a subsidiary of London-listed Diageo PLC, has announced a new family leave policy, which provides 26 weeks of maternity and four weeks of paternity leave for all its employees at full pay. According to the company, it did this in the spirit of National Women's Month. 

Diageo SA, which supplies global spirits brands such as Johnnie Walker, J&B, Tanqueray, Smirnoff and Ciroc, is fully compliant with Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment at level 4.

According to a statement released by Diageo on Tuesday, the leave policy is applicable to primary and secondary caregivers, in same sex relationships and in cases of adoption. The aim of the new policy is to create a fully inclusive and diverse workforce.

"We want to equalise the parenting possibilities within work," says corporate relations director at Diageo SA, Sibani Mngadi.

"We want Diageo to be a place that supports parents as they grow their families and we move away from the burden being one way or the other, and the financial and career concerns which have so dominated in the past."

South African labour law provides for four months maternity leave, and paternity leave is being increased from three to 10 days with the recent amendments to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. Payment for employees is generally sourced through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) at 66% of normal earnings, provided the parent has been in employment for at least 13 weeks.

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