By Paula Bernier
Outspoken filmmaker Michael Moore’s documentary “Where to Invade Next” – which is about how government is benefitting regular folks in other parts of the world – features a bit about the generous time off and pay policies in Italy.
A couple in the movie talks about how Italians are guaranteed 30 to 35 days of paid holidays, additional time off for national (usually 12 days) and city holidays, 15 days more for a honeymoon if you get married, and several months of mandatory time off after having a child. Oh, and Italians get double pay at the end of the year so they have discretionary funds for the holidays.
Moore also interviews two or three successful Italian business owners, who say having happy and healthy employees makes them feel good and is just good business.
While this kind of thing is unheard of in the U.S., some companies here are trying to make their work environments more hospitable for their employees. Broadvoice is one such company.
The hosted voice, unified communications, and SIP trunking services provider in January announced plans to expand its paid family leave. Plus, it is now adding gym memberships to its benefits package for employees working at its Los Angeles headquarters.
“A paid parental leave benefit for new mothers and fathers, including new foster parents and adoptive parents, is available to any worker who has completed at least one year of service with the company,” Broadvoice explains. “The program provides complete income replacement (100 percent of average pay), up to 12 weeks for new moms and four weeks for new dads.”
Workers at Broadvoice’s Los Angeles headquarters also are now eligible for free Crunch Fitness gym memberships. The company is offering this benefit to all of its employees, regardless of how long they’ve been with the company.
"We want our employees to feel valued and achieve a healthy work-life balance," said Broadvoice President Sam Ghahremanpour. "We have an incredible group of people at the heart of our company. To show our appreciation, we provide a comprehensive benefits plan that rewards them for everything they do for our company, especially as we rapidly expand our business."