Working women who are also new moms often find themselves with broken hearts. Whether they’re granted a 6-week unpaid maternity leave or a 3-month paid one, heading back to the office and leaving their newborns in the care of someone else can be painstaking, particularly if they have little choice but to work and leave their children in daycare or with a nanny or babysitter.
One company in Australia is easing that pain just a little — financially, anyway. Insurance Group Australia (IAG), which is one of the largest companies in Australia, revealed this week that new moms returning from the company’s 14-week paid maternity leave will enjoy seeing their salary doubled during their first six weeks back, according to The Huffington Post.
The idea behind the generous salary bump is to encourage new moms to actually come back to work and stay with the company.
Apparently such bonuses, which are nonexistent in the United States, are common in Europe (and rare, but obviously not unheard of, in Australia).
“We were finding that some women after having a child were dropping out of the system, which is not want we want,” the CEO of IAG said. “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.”
Of course there’s something more in it for IAG, too. The cost of recruiting and training new employees is more expensive in the long run than paying to keep current employees. But what’s wrong with a win-win situation?
To many working women who are new mothers in the United States, it’s likely a heartwarming (albeit mostly foreign) concept to read of a company looking at postpartum employees as assets instead of liabilities.
To a mom who needs to work but would rather stay home with her new baby, there’s probably not much that will make her feel better about her circumstances. But having a little more financial flexibility during the expensive first few months of a baby’s life, and being shown appreciation as an employee and new mom when she’s not at home can go a long way anyway.
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