Insurance organisation Aviva has introduced equal paid parental leave, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or how an employee became a parent (birth, adoption or surrogacy), for staff in the UK, Ireland, France, Singapore and Canada.
Each new parent employed by the organisation will be entitled to receive 26 weeks leave at full basic pay within the first 12 months of a child’s arrival, with a further 26 weeks unpaid leave available. If both parents are employees of Aviva, they will each have their own entitlement to leave and pay which they can take at the same time.
The policy applies to employees in all UK offices and locations, with no eligibility criteria relating to service length or whether the employee is full-time or part-time.
Aviva’s employees can take advantage of the new benefit if they become a parent on or after 19 November 2017.
The insurance organisation is planning on rolling its revised parental leave plan out to all of its employees world-wide within the next year. The amount of time off and pay will be determined by each local business, with the intention that Aviva’s policy is market leading in each country.
Mark Wilson, group chief executive officer at Aviva, said: “I want to live in a world where the only criteria for success is someone’s talent, not their gender. Treating parents equally will help make this happen. We want Aviva to be a progressive, inclusive, welcoming place to work. It’s good for our people and it’s also good business sense.”
Sarah Morris, chief people officer at Aviva, said: “We think this is one of the most ground-breaking, family-friendly policies offered by any employer. It’s time to equalise parental leave and create a level playing field for men and women who want to take time out from their career to spend with their family.
“This will transform the first year of parenthood for many families, giving them the opportunity to spend precious time together. It’s one of our commitments to build a more inclusive and diverse culture at Aviva.”