Continental Expands Range of Flexible Benefits for Working Dads and Moms

From telecommuting and sabbaticals to parental leave and part-time work, Continental is expanding the range of flexible work practices offered to more than 18,000 employees in the U.S. Named one of FORTUNE Magazine’s Most Admired Companies and one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes, Continental is committed to meeting the needs of all employees locally and globally.

“As a leader in the automotive industry, we know the impact the digitally connected world has on mobility, the car and industrial production. Digitalization not only impacts our industry, but also the way our employees live and work,” said Samir Salman, chief executive officer, Continental, North America. “Our Executive Board is committed to implementing flexible work practices in 21 countries where more than 90 percent of our global workforce is employed, including the U.S.”

Continental will provide its employees a longer paid maternity leave and offer dads paternity leave. Mothers can take an additional two weeks of paid maternity leave in addition to leave provided under the supplier’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Fathers can take up to two weeks paid during the first 12 weeks of the child’s birth or adoption.

According to a Pew Research Center study, 55 percent of men say today’s dads are doing a worse job than the preceding generation. Half of working dads say it’s difficult for them to find the right balance between their job and their family life, and 48 percent say they spend too little time with their kids. Less than 20 percent of U.S. employers offer paid paternity leave, according to survey findings from the Society for Human Resource Management.

“I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the recently launched parental leave benefit, which has afforded me some much-needed quality time to help our family adjust to becoming a party of five,” said Thomas Lipscomb, product sales manager, Continental. “This benefit proves that Continental is not only developing new, state-of-the-art technology, but creating a positive work environment to address the changing market and societal needs.”

“Our HR team worked with business leaders to deploy the best flexible work options that meet the needs of our working parents. We hope our parental leave policy helps employees achieve needed work-life balance and put their abilities to best use,” commented Rick Ledsinger, vice president, Human Relations, Continental North America Region & Tire the Americas.

Continental is also expanding its telecommuting options for eligible employees. The option to telecommute is the most utilized flexible work option at Continental and employees at some U.S. corporate locations have enjoyed this flexible perk since 2012.

“The freedom to work from my home office from time to time has really made a difference in my personal life,” said Erin Webber, project quality manager for Continental’s Infotainment & Connectivity Business Unit. “I’m able to avoid the commute to and from the office and spend more time with my family during the week. Having flexibility in my job also allows me to adapt my schedule to be in the office when it’s most beneficial. I am there for important meetings and team collaboration and believe flexibility allows me to thrive in both my professional and personal life.”

Today, telecommuting is extended to all employees, whether they are located in a corporate office or manufacturing location, providing the duties of their job allow them to perform their work at an offsite location.

To further expand on its flexible work offerings, Continental has implemented a new Sabbatical policy. Employees can apply for an unpaid sabbatical for up to one year. Additionally, part-time employees can reduce their working hours and work volume to accommodate personal needs. Employees are also eligible for a range of attractive discounts on tires, vehicle purchases, electronics, computer hardware and software, and wireless services.

“According to Pew Research, more than a million Millennials are becoming mothers each year. By offering a variety of flexible work options, our employees and Continental will both benefit equally,” Ledsinger continued. “Continental recently opened a research center in San Jose, Calif. Our expanded flexible work options advance our recruiting and retention strategies, and send a strong signal in the global competition for the best and most suitable talent.”

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