DRINKS company Diageo has announced a global roll-out of an ambitious new family leave policy.

The business hopes the policy will support employees to focus on “the joy of raising a young family”, while continuing to thrive at work, and ensuring women and men are supported to have time with their new baby regardless of where they live and work.

The new policy offers female employees in all markets a minimum of 26 weeks of fully paid maternity leave.

Diageo is also setting a global minimum standard of four weeks paternity leave on full rate of pay in all markets, with a significant number of Diageo’s businesses moving to 26 weeks fully paid paternity leave including North America, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Colombia, Venezuela, and Australia amongst others.

The news follows the announcement last month that all parents employed by Diageo in the UK are now eligible for the same fully-paid 26 weeks, retaining benefits and bonuses regardless of gender.

Mairead Nayager, chief HR officer at Diageo said: “We are committed to creating a fully inclusive and diverse workforce and we strongly believe that businesses play a significant role in shaping the future of society.

“Global businesses like Diageo must make bold moves on policies and the environments in which their employees work to ensure that the progress people deserve happens.”

The new policy will go live in most countries at the start of Diageo’s new financial year, from July 1, with further countries to implement the policy over the course of the year.

Diageo’s commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse working environment has been recognised by the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index in 2019.

In 2018 Diageo was named by Thomson Reuters as the fourth most inclusive and diverse company in the world.

Statistics show 40% of Diageo’s executive committee and 44% of Diageo’s board are women.

Diageo said the full details of each country’s specific policy will be shared soon as they are subject to local, legal and board requirements.