Taking care: global universal minimum benefits for all
Solvay: A Global Corporate Citizen
True to its tradition of social protection, Solvay has rolled out a bold initiative: a minimum level of company social benefits extended to all its employees. As a Global Corporate Citizen, Solvay goes beyond local market standards and ensures the well-being of colleagues no matter where they are located.
Solvay Cares means benefits for all
We have always believed in providing our employees with more than just a job. Decades before the advent of the welfare state, our company was already running its own social security program. That was in the 1880s. In 2018, Solvay took another step in the same direction with Solvay Cares, a common minimum package of benefits for the 30,000 people who work for the Group.
Solvay Cares covers four areas: Medical care, Disability, Life insurance and Maternity and Co-parent/Adoption leave. In terms of benefits, for the first three of these domains, the following are offered as a minimum:
- Medical care: At least 75% of medical fees covered in case of hospitalization or severe illnesses, topping up public health insurance
- Disability: In case of lasting incapacity, disability insurance with two years of salary covered
- Life insurance: Coverage of up to two years of salary for the family or partner
Raising the bar for parental leave
As for Maternity and Co-parent/Adoption leave, we are raising the bar in 2021!
The original Solvay Cares benefits implemented in 2018 followed World Health Organization recommendations, with full income protection during a 14-week parental leave for the mother and one week for the co-parent and in the case of adoption.
As of 1 January 2021, our new policy increases maternity leave to 16 weeks for any co-parent, regardless of gender, and also includes parents who adopt. “The parent employed by Solvay will receive 100% of his or her salary during this leave period,” details Hervé Tiberghien, Solvay’s Chief People Officer. “This is a significant enhancement compared to our previous policy, and it will do much to promote diversity, inclusion and work in life balance.”
Solvay strives to be a place where employees can bring their whole selves to work and feel they can be both a devoted parent and a valuable employee. “As a mother and business leader, I'm really proud of this new policy,” says Ilham Kadri, Solvay CEO.
As one can imagine, all this is bound to substantially increase employee social protection in a number of countries. In the United States for example, Solvay Cares significantly improves the standard for maternity leave. And as for paternity leave, it was previously non-existent for a good part of Solvay’s employees, in many parts of the world.
Our new maternity leave policy presents a significant enhancement compared to our previous policy and will do much to promote diversity, inclusion and work in life balance.
Corporate social responsibility: ideals that don’t fade
With this initiative, Solvay joined a small club of multinational corporations that have introduced global minimum benefits programs, expressing the company’s long-standing awareness regarding social responsibility.
You can trace it in Solvay’s DNA all the way up to the humanistic ideals of its founders. Back then, one spoke of “social capitalism”; today the expression is “corporate social responsibility” or “corporate citizenship”.
Whatever the terminology, the idea remains the same: the happiness and health of people always come first.