Fund manager Standard Life Aberdeen is introducing nine months of full paid leave for all new parents in a move that it says sets a new precedent across businesses in the UK.
The policy, which comes into effect in the new year, will apply to all new parents regardless of gender, family set-up or how long they’ve been at the firm, and includes parents who adopt or have a child by surrogate.
On top of this, new parents will be able to take a full year’s leave. This is flexible and allows parents to take the full twelve months off together or in up to three separate blocks over two years in a way that suits them.
Currently in the UK, new mothers expecting a new child get 52 weeks’ leave, and their partners get two.
Rose Thomson, chief HR officer at the firm, said: “Current arrangements – whether statutory or enhanced - can mean new parents have to make difficult decisions about who can afford to take leave and whether one parent’s time with the child, takes away from the other. We think that needs to change.”
“We know that our people need to balance their work lives with their personal lives and this new policy is one example of the actions we’re taking to help them maintain that balance.”
The new policy means that the primary caregiver does not have to share their entitlement and end their parental leave early. There will also be additional paid leave available to support parents whose babies are born prematurely.
At Aviva, new parents are entitled to 26 weeks’ leave with full basic pay regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or whether they had given birth, adopted, or conceived through surrogacy, according to a survey by Money Guru.
M&G offers new mothers childcare vouchers and an enhanced maternity package, the report also found.
Earlier in October it was announced that Standard Life Aberdeen’s vice-chairman Martin Gilbert will be stepping down next year.
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