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Giant accounting firm commissioned research into what dads want earlier this year. Now they’ve acted on it.
Corporate giant Deloitte is to double its paternity leave policy.
From next month new dads will get four weeks of paid leave. Crucially, given research that shows that flexibility is as important as the length of leave fathers take, the month off can be split into two blocks. One chunk can be taken immediately after the birth, the other block can be taken any time in the first year.
The leave applies to all birthing partners, so fathers and same sex spouses or partners, civil partners or adopters will all benefit.
Dimple Agarwal, managing partner for People & Purpose, said: “We’ve listened to feedback and understand that an increasing number of non-birthing parents want the opportunity to be able to play a more active parenting role – both in those first weeks and longer term. However, take-up numbers for this leave are disappointingly low and we are very keen to change this.
“Our recent research with DaddiLife, the UK’s leading platform and community for millennial dads, surveyed more than 2,000 working fathers between the ages of 24 and 40. We found that more dads than ever (58%) are now actively involved in day-to-day parenting. But their employers don’t always make it easy for them. This promise to our Deloitte families is all part of our commitment to inclusion, where we are creating an environment of respect, dignity and belonging for all. What’s more, we’ve increased flexibility as to when and how this leave can be taken as we recognise that when it comes to family commitments, one size doesn’t fit all.”
Deloitte already offers enhanced pay for parents taking Shared Parental Leave (SPL). Mums and dads can take 16 weeks at full pay followed by another 10 at half pay. Boosting financial support for couples using SPL has seen hundreds of parents at Deloitte use the policy.
Ed Greig, whose job title is Chief Disruptor, took four months of Shared Parental Leave between June and October 2018, immediately after the birth of son Oz. During that time – with his wife also off work – Ed built a special bond with Oz. He occasionally checked in with his team, but otherwise had his projects covered while he was out of the office. “It was easily the best decision I’ve made,” he says. “Shared parental leave was really helpful for figuring out our routines and how we were going to be parents together.”