Liberty Puerto Rico announced today it is introducing a new parental leave policy that duplicates time off for new mothers and quadruples time off for new fathers. Established by Liberty Puerto Rico’s parent company, Liberty Latin America, the new policy grants employees in all of the company’s affiliates eight weeks of fully paid leave for all new mothers and fathers and eight additional weeks for the birth parent.
Under the previous maternity leave, new mothers could take up to eight weeks of paid leave. With the new policy, birthing mothers get eight additional weeks of paid leave for a maximum total of 16 weeks. Employees who become mothers through surrogacy or adoption will be entitled to eight weeks of paid leave. In addition, the policy raises the adoption age for children from under 5 to under 17.
Paid leave is also enhanced for new fathers under the new parental policy. The new standard goes up from two weeks of paid leave to a minimum standard of up to eight weeks. This applies to both birthing and adopting fathers. Liberty Puerto Rico had already established a precedent earlier this year by offering a two-week paternity leave, something that is uncommon on the island. Liberty Latin America’s new minimum standard for fathers quadruples their leave time.
"Evolving our parental leave policy, quite simply, is the right thing to do," said Kerry Scott, chief people officer of Liberty Latin America. "We recognize that diversity drives success, and family dynamics and structures have changed. Our new policy demonstrates our commitment to a culture of diversity and inclusion and is one that puts our people at the heart of our success."
The new parental leave policy went into effect in all of Liberty Latin America’s companies—including Liberty Puerto Rico—on June 1. Employees who were out on leave on that date were switched to the new policy.
“We are thrilled and proud of this new step in our culture of inclusion and diversity. The new policy responds to market trends in which employers continue offering maternity and/or paternity leaves to attract and retain the best talent and secure a better work/life balance for their employees,” said Naji Khoury, president and CEO of Liberty Puerto Rico.
In Puerto Rico, most employers only offer eight weeks of maternity leave, which is the minimum required by law on the island. Local laws do not require companies to offer paternity leave.
“In this regard, Liberty was already ahead of the curve in our market, having introduced paternity leave earlier this year. With our new policy, we duplicated leave time for mothers and quadruplicated it for fathers, thus enhancing our employees’ wellbeing and that of their families as well,” concluded Khoury.
Khoury added that Liberty Puerto Rico had previously implemented other type of leaves to further support its employees’ family life. In October 2018, the company established a leave that would allow employees to be present at notable life events such as the arrival of grandchildren and marriage.