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BTC extends paid maternity leave to 16 weeks

Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has implemented a new policy extending paid maternity and paternity leave for its employees.

The policy, which came into effect on June 1, increases paid maternity leave to 16 weeks and paid leave for fathers to eight weeks.

“The company’s updated parental leave policy now provides more time off for mothers and fathers. It is applicable whether employees become parents biologically, via surrogacy or through adoption,” BTC revealed in a statement yesterday.

“Mothers will receive an additional three weeks, increasing maternity leave to 16 paid weeks. Fathers now receive eight weeks paid leave, an increase of seven weeks. Adoptive parents and parents through surrogacy now receive eight weeks off; prior there was no paid leave.”

Currently, the National Insurance Board (NIB) pays a maternity benefit of 66.66 percent of wages for up to 13 weeks to women who have made at least 50 contributions.

The policy of many companies is to pay the full wages of a new mother for the amount of time covered by NIB, and then require repayment of the percentage portion of her wages not covered by NIB.

BTC Chief Executive Officer Garry Sinclair said the positive changes are indicative of the company’s dedication to the well-being of its employees and its desire to make parents working for BTC feel supported economically and emotionally.

“This is a huge differentiator for us. We recognize the benefits of parental leave and we believe that this bold step will allow our people to have more time to build stronger connections with their newborns. The policy is quite progressive and aligns more closely with our philosophy and culture,” said Sinclair.

The move also has benefits for BTC, the statement notes, given the research surrounding the significant benefits of parental leave and the impact it has on an organization’s ability to retain and attract new talent and foster a more engaged workforce.

“Evolving our parental leave policy, quite simply, is the right thing to do. 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 one that puts our people at the heart of our success,” said Kerry Scott, chief people officer for Liberty Latin America, BTC’s parent company.

Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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