Parental leave is a labor right that ensures that the people responsible for a child or teenager take a paid leave after giving birth or adopting. The purpose of that is for those parental figures to give their full attention to their families.
In Brazil, the law establishes that the maternity leave should last 120 days, while the paternity leave lasts 5 days. However, companies may choose to go beyond that duration for their collaborators.
Here at Nubank, whichever gender and the type of family unit, all collaborators receive 120 days of parental leave, a period that can be increased to 180 days for pregnant people in Brazil.
“With that policy, we are trying to help reduce gender inequality in the job market and allowing our collaborators to give their attention to their families, creating a more inclusive environment.”Kj Williams, Senior Compensation and Benefits Director
Check out below how parental leave works, how we apply it in Nubank and what some Nubankers have to say about it.
How does parental leave work at Nubank?
Lucas Viotti, Controllership Manager at Nu and Olivia’s father, was one of the first Nubankers to request the benefit among the team, in Colombia. He and his wife expected the traditional leave when they heard they could spend an even greater time together, as a family.
“That shows I am in a company that has the same values I have. I was very happy to hear the news,” Lucas recalls.
That couple’s story also holds an important detail: Lucas and his wife are two Brazilians who recently left their country. That means they do not have a strong support network around. Since Olivia was born, it is only the three of them facing all the challenges posed by that new life.
“We have to adapt to the language, the routine, the new family dynamic… Having time for that was a great relief. It is very important that the father also spends more time with his family during that time. It means creating the foundation of what we will be and develop emotional bonds that will be with our children throughout their whole lives,” he says.
Hiring pregnant people
As for Renata Souza, from the customer service team, the feeling of relief came right at the moment she was hired: “I was 12 weeks pregnant when I joined the company. I hung up the phone thinking they would not hire me, but then the answer came and I was hired,” tells Renata, who is a specialist at the insurance team and Jully’s mother.
Renata’s fear was not unfounded. Pregnant people have a harder time finding a job, and when they do, they must deal with the myth that they will be less productive after returning from their leave. A study by Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) has revealed that more than a half of working mothers are fired within 2 years after the end of their leave.
Compensation for women with children is also 18.1% smaller than for women without children, according to a study by consultancy company iDados, based on the National Household Sample Survey (Pnad) by IBGE, from 2021.
“That leave means a lot. It gives me great comfort to know I will be there for my daughter whenever she needs. I have the freedom to be with her, to breastfeed her on demand and, at the same time, I know Nubank will help me when I come back.”Renata Souza, Customer Service Specialist
Support to parental figures during their return from leave is also part of the program. After so many weeks of absence, it is only natural that many things have changed and that those professionals take time to readjust. Therefore, we offer training and follow-ups so that mothers and fathers do not feel out of place.
“A colleague helped me readjust and provide customer service for two weeks. It is almost like a new onboarding process. I had a pleasant experience upon my return. I felt welcomed and cared for in a way I did not expect,” Renata says.
Why is parental leave important for families?
Parental leave is essential for strengthening family bonds for all ages. There is a great deal of benefits for babies, as explained by Dr. Ana Escobar:
“The emotional bond a baby develops with their father, mother, caretaker, with whomever is near them is important to their neural development, it helps forming cerebral synapses, which, simply put, is the connection between neurons.”
It is estimated that a baby forms up to 700 synapses per second, and those connections are essential to form the child’s brain. “The greater the number of connections, the larger the cognitive capacity. Babies who are not emotionally cared for in the first 2 years of their lives, especially, may have their emotional and physical development compromised,” Ana mentions.
There are also gains in relation to parental figures’ self-esteem, confidence and productivity, and that is something Nubank realized with this benefit’s implementation.
“Maternity has changed me. The most notable change is the empathy and patience I now have while dealing with customers through chat. Going back to work is also very good because we want to know we belong to other worlds as well.”Renata Souza, Customer Service Specialist
Lucas, Olivia’s father, also noticed that:
“I am sure I will have to be much more efficient. I have ambitions for my career; that hasn’t changed. I think they are even greater now because I want to make sure my daughter has everything she needs. So I want to be more organized, in terms of managing my time and results efficiently so that I have more time to spend with my family.”
Here at Nubank, we believe that it is possible to balance family and work. One does not have to harm the other.