Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and Shell are to offer enhanced paternity packages to all employees ahead of new shared parental leave legislation coming into effect from April 2015.
Under its package for shared parental leave, Deloitte will match its current level of enhanced maternity or adoption pay, which is set at 16 weeks at full pay, followed by 10 weeks at half pay.
From 5 April 2015, new legislation will allow mothers, fathers, partners, and adopters to opt to share parental leave. which can be taken up to a year after a child is born or adopted. Under the legislation, eligible parents will be able to share a period of their maternity or adoption leave with their partner, including sharing statutory pay.
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg will today (19 November) host a forum with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Mumsnet and large employers to discuss how businesses can boost their family-friendly offer and retain talented parents. His aim is to encourage businesses to do more to support family-friendly working through shared parental leave.
Clegg said: “I’m delighted that Deloitte, PWC and Shell are taking positive steps in modernising the workplace by providing flexible-working arrangements for hardworking parents. It is bizarre that even in the 21st century, hundreds and thousands of employees are still restricted by Edwardian rules when it comes to juggling their work and family lives.
“We need a modern Britain that works for modern families, not against them. I’m calling on employers to set an example when it comes to offering flexible-working arrangements so that working parents are empowered to make their own decisions in their own time. We know this boosts productivity, loyalty and retention of staff in the workplace too.”
Sarah Jackson, chief executive officer at charity Working Families, said: “Shared parental leave provides a real opportunity for employers to demonstrate their support for parents, and their commitment to equality between men and women within the wider context of a supportive work-life culture.
“Shared parental leave is really a chance for employers to benefit from increased engagement and commitment, by going with the grain of employees’ family lives and aspirations as new parents. We are seeing the beginning of a quiet revolution in how fathers and mothers share work and care.”
Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte UK, said: “We have made the support for our working parents a firm-wide priority and we’re pleased to see the deputy prime minister’s call to action, encouraging other businesses do the same. The potential positive impact of the changes that the government is introducing is significant for working families across the UK.
“Introducing new approaches and policies is not just a ‘good thing to do’ for our people; it is a business imperative. We believe that we will only attract and retain the best people if we can provide a career experience that enables them to achieve the valuable balance between family and a meaningful career.”