Vodafone has launched a new maternity policy allowing its employees expecting children a month's extra leave.

Under the policy, primary caregivers employed by Vodafone and who return to work for the company within 12 months of the child being born will receive full pay for a 30-hour week for the first six months.

The policy change will give new parents an extra day at home each week during the critical development stages of a child's life as a result, Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners said.

Expectant mothers will also be offered 16 weeks pro-rata paid leave, through an initiative that tops up the government's Paid Parental Leave to full pay, he said.


The move coincides with the increase in Paid Parental Leave being introduced by the government on 1 April, 2015, which is also when Vodafone's new policy comes in to effect.

Prior to 1 April, Vodafone offered 12 weeks full or pro-rata paid leave to top up the Government maternity leave scheme.

"Family is important to us and we're always looking for ways to make things easier for our mums and caregivers," Stanners said.

"Through our new policy, we estimate a working parent could save around $1800 in childcare in their first six months back and be able to spend an additional 240 hours with their child," he said.

The policy change was aimed at attracting and retain talented women.

Currently, 37 per cent of Vodafone employees in New Zealand were female, and women make up 38 per cent the company's senior leadership team.

"We believe this new maternity policy will play an important role in helping to increase those figures," Stanners said.