The UK’s largest insurer will now allow all new parents the same amount of paid leave after the arrival of a child.
Aviva will offer its 16,000 employees 26 weeks leave on full basic pay, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
The policy applies to parents who have given birth, adopted or chosen surrogacy.
Aviva’s new group-wide policy will offer men and women equal parental leave. Parents employed by Aviva will be eligible to the same amount of paid and unpaid time off, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or how they became a parent (either birth, adoption or surrogacy).
According to the Insurer the new policy is part of Aviva’s strategy to create a diverse and inclusive working culture in which barriers to career progression are removed.
In the UK, Aviva is now offering up to one year of leave, of which 26 weeks’ is at full basic pay* for each parent employed by the company within the first 12 months of a child’s arrival. This applies to employees in all UK offices and locations, with no eligibility criteria relating to service length or earnings threshold. Aviva’s new parental leave policy entitlement includes:
- Equal amount of paid and unpaid parental leave when a new child arrives.
- Includes full-time and part-time employees across all levels of the company.
- No requirement to share the parental leave between parents.
- 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 CIPD’s spokeswoman welcomed Aviva’s move increase the pay available “to allow both parents to play an equal part in the upbringing of their child”.
Aviva would need to use male role models to show it is acceptable to take up the offer of parental leave, “to encourage a change in perceptions and foster a cultural change. Otherwise, male employees may still be reticent about taking time off, even if paid,” she added.
Mark Wilson, Group Chief Executive Officer, Aviva plc 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, added: “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.”
What are your employees’ rights?
- Most employed mothers are entitled to 52 weeks’ maternity leave
- Statutory maternity pay for eligible women is usually paid at 90% of their weekly wage for the first six weeks, with the remaining 33 weeks at £139.58 a week or 90% of their weekly wage, whichever is lower
- Employees may be entitled to shared parental leave within the first year of a child’s birth or adoption
- Women who earn less than £112 a week are not eligible for statutory maternity pay; instead most can claim maternity allowance.
- Fathers may be entitled to one or two weeks paid paternity leave
You can view the Aviva press release in full here.
If you would like support on this, or any other issue on looking after your employees you can contact advo hr here.