Health And Family

A love like no other

Julie Cabatit-Alegre - The Philippine Star
A love like no other
Nestle Phils. chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki (center) with head of employee relations Atty. Krisma Guyala, HR director Mitzie Antonio at the launch of the local implementation of the Nestle Global Parental Support Policy

MANILA, Philippines — Of all the days that Nestle Philippines could have chosen to launch the local implementation of their Global Parental Support Policy, they chose to launch it on Valentine’s Day.

“The love that parents have for their child is “the most special love,” Nestle Philippine chairman and CEO Kais Marzouki, remarked.

It is a “Love Like No Other.” This was the theme of their Valentine celebration.

The Philippines is among the first in the Nestle world to implement the policy, which was first announced last December by Nestle S.A. CEO Mark Schneider. “It’s a global policy, but we are among the first to apply it locally,” Marzouki noted.

The policy provides greater benefits to new parents, even beyond the legally mandated levels or industry standards. It extends the period of fully paid maternity leave from 15 weeks or 105 days to 18 weeks or 126 days. The policy also extends paid paternity leave from nine days to four weeks.

“This policy allows parents to be truly present for their children in order to be able to give them the best start in life,” Nestle Philippines SVP and HR director Mitzie Antonio said.

Beyond the enhancement of benefits, the policy is also gender neutral. The policy was designed to support different family structures, including biological or adoptive parents, same-sex partners, single parents, as well as legal guardians. “It accepts any kind of family,” Marzouki explained. “The policy takes an inclusive approach. Every family is unique, and therefore we support gender equality and diversity. This is really progressive thinking.”

The company is one of the first in the country to extend paid parental leave to same-sex partners. “The beauty of it is that more and more of our employees are being themselves, being who they are and who they want to be, and we respect that. Nestle has always been true to our purpose of enhancing the quality of life, and what better way than starting with our very own employees,” Antonio said. This translates to better performance and a better work place.

Atty. Krisma Guyala, head of employee relations, noted that the launch was specially for employees who are expectant parents. “They are employees who are brave, compassionate, and ready to journey to parenthood,” she said.

In her talk “When the Baby Arrives, pediatrician Dr. Josephine Sunga had these simple words of advice for new parents—enjoy your baby; try to relax; alternate duties; sleepless nights will pass. Parents should also make time for each other. Happy parents make happy babies.

Jie and Ana Baluyot, who met at the start of their career in Nestle some 10 years ago, got married last year. They are expecting their first child and are looking forward to “master the craft of changing diapers,” they shared. They feel blessed to be part of the company that goes the extra mile in supporting their employees.

Nina Obrador from the technical department is in the final steps of the adoption process. “I know my life will soon change for the better because there is exceptional happiness in having and raising a child,” she shared. Luigi Tan, who belongs to the LGBT community and was recently engaged, said he is happy to be part of a company that recognizes the ever-changing definition of family.

“The Filipino family is an expanded family and everyone pulls together to support each other,” Antonio noted. “We may be a Swiss company but we are also very Filipino as a company and this is our way of extending our love and support to the rest of our colleagues who are also our family.”

“The key to our success are our employees so the well-being and happiness of our employees is our first priority,” Marzouki remarked. “Nestle Philippines has always been at the forefront of providing extensive family care benefits, and we aim to continue this commitment to our employees. The local implementation of our Global Parental Support Policy is very much anchored on Nestle’s purpose, which is to improve the quality of life and enhance the future of our Filipino family.”



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