Most Mom-Friendly Company Ever Doubles Salary for Women Who Return to Work After Maternity Leave

officeIf you're pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, you may want to move to Australia quickly. It seems there, they know how to treat their female employees right, or at least one company there does. If you can't move down under, however, read on carefully because the following is going to make you green with envy ... and perhaps red with rage over how different things are here in the good ol' U.S. of A.

According to ABC, The Insurance Australia Group -- one of Australia's biggest companies -- will now not just offer 14 weeks of paid maternity leave, but they are also going to double (double!) the salary of women returning to work after having a baby for the first six weeks. They call it their "Welcome Back Payment." Can you even imagine?

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What an amazing way for a company to let female employees know that they're valued, and that their company doesn't believe that being a mother is detrimental to them doing their job. Instead of a begrudging come on back if you must that many face (if they don't get fired first), it's an amazing, open-arms welcome back. How nice that must be instead of how it works in this country where working moms are actually paid less than their childless counterparts.

Whether or not to return to work after having a baby is one of the most heart-wrenching decisions a mother can make. It consumed me during both of my pregnancies. There's often much guilt, stress, and worry that six extra weeks of pay could certainly help ease. I doubt that it would be a make-or-break reason for anyone, but it would certainly give someone who does want to/need to attempt to reenter the workforce a little bit of extra encouragement to set foot inside the door that first day. And it helps the company too because they don't have to spend money recruiting and training new employees.

And before you even start saying that this just plays into the greed and materialism that drive moms to work -- because I know some of you will -- it's not about that for the most part. It's about the fact that your company -- the one that you've worked so hard for -- wants you to come back badly enough that they're willing to make that offer. The cash, of course, helps, but it's largely a case of thought that counts here. American companies should take note.

Would a double salary for six weeks after returning from maternity leave affect your decision to go back to work or not?

 

Image via Sean MacEnttee/Flickr

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