Going back to work after a maternity leave can be one of the toughest endeavors for many new moms, but one company in Australia is hoping to make the return a bit more welcoming. Huffington Post reports about the Insurance Australia Group’s (IAG) plans to double a new moms salary once they return from their fourteen week fully paid maternity leave. The salary increase will last for a full six weeks when new moms return.
Though the welcome-back bonus along with mandatory paid maternity leave is unheard of in the U.S., it is common in Europe and now Australia. New moms feel the burn from the lack of paid maternity leave laws in the U.S. in many ways. SheSpeaks reported about some of the links between how long a mom breastfeeds and how much paid leave she gets. And according to the American Sociological Review, American women who have kids earn 7 percent less than women who don’t have children due to the fact that they accumulate less experience and seniority.
It’s not surprising that having children in the U.S. can slow down a woman’s career as many of us find it more affordable to stay home with our children while they are young than pay for child care. Paid maternity leave and a temporary bump in salary may be just what some women need to keep them in the game.
CEO of IAG, Mike Wilkins, explains how doubling a new mom’s salary on return to work helps women stay in the game and is cost effective for the company since they don’t have to recruit or train new staff. Wilkins says, “We were finding that some women after having a child were dropping out of the system, which is not want we want. We found that women who were going on maternity leave were saying 'It's difficult for me to come back or if I do come back it's quite difficult to be there', and we want to make sure that we attract and retain the best people.”
What do you think of this Australian company’s plan to double a new mom’s salary on return to work?
Do you think this type of welcome back bonus would be an effective way to allow new moms to hang on to their jobs here in the U.S.?