We’ve enhanced our family leave policies

We’ve enhanced family leave policies
Home News We’ve enhanced our family leave policies

We’re enhancing  our paternity leave policy. Effective immediately, we are increasing fully paid paternity leave from 8 weeks to 12 weeks, reinforcing our commitment to supporting employees and their families.

Employees can take this leave anytime within the first two years of the child being born or adopted. The leave can be taken in blocks giving our employees the choice of flexing it in a way that works for them, their families and their teams. This is now a ‘day one’ employment entitlement, meaning employees can benefit from it from the very first day of their employment.

This move places us ahead of the industry average, which currently stands at 8 weeks of fully paid paternity leave and of the statutory entitlement of up to two weeks. Paternity leave is important for promoting gender equality, with research by the Centre for Progressive Policy suggesting there is a 4% decrease in gender wage gap in countries with more than six weeks of paid paternity leave.

By offering 12 weeks of paid leave, we’re not only recognising the importance of family time to its employees, but also promoting gender equality in caregiving responsibilities.

In addition to our paternity/partner leave policy, We’ve also made our maternity, shared parental leave, and adoption and surrogacy policies a day-one employment entitlement. Finally, we’ve enhanced our carers leave policy. Legally, from 6th April 2024, organisations are required to provide one week’s unpaid leave (pro rata) per year to enable employees to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need.  We are enhancing our current policy of offering Already we offer 4 weeks unpaid Carer Leave, we’ve enhanced our to include 1-week paid leave and 3 weeks unpaid from day one of employment.

I am delighted that we are continuing to improve our family friendly offerings, especially our paternity/partner leave. These enhancements signal our commitment to creating an equitable, supportive, fair and inclusive work environment.

Our people promise is that our employees feel invested in and cared for. These offerings help us fulfil that promise by enabling colleagues to be with their families during important times and be their best at work as well. That is how we support all colleagues to thrive.

Nikunj Upadhyay

Group Inclusion and Diversity Director at Wates