Baker McKenzie enhances family friendly initiatives

Global law firm Baker McKenzie has updated its family friendly policy provisions in order to recognise some of the challenges faced by working parents and carers in current society.

The organisation will now offer enhanced paternity pay and leave with immediate effect, which will be extended from two to 12 weeks following the birth of a baby or adoption of a child. Its 13,000 members of staff across the world can take the additional 10 weeks of leave at any time during the first year of a child’s birth or adoption to offer them greater flexibility.

According to the firm, this change is because some employees may not have qualified for leave under previous policies. The initiative is now open to all workers whose baby has been or will be born, or adopted, after 1 July 2021.

A dedicated parenting area for new mothers, pregnant employees and parents will also be put in place, consisting of a general parenting room, which can be used by expectant mothers to rest, and a room especially for new parents.

In addition, the firm has also introduced a pregnancy loss policy with immediate effect as part of its commitment to supporting employees who might require support after experiencing a loss. This will see individuals, partners of individuals, and those with a surrogate mother who have been affected by pregnancy loss, miscarriage, still birth, neo-natal loss, unsuccessful fertility treatment and abortion be eligible for up to at least five days of fully paid leave.

Ed Poulton, Baker McKenzie’s London managing partner, said: “I am proud that we have made these important changes. Ours is an inclusive firm, and we recognise that no two families or their circumstances are quite the same. Acknowledging at least some of these differences, and building empathy and greater flexibility into our policies, helps us to be a more supportive employer.”