Fourteen weeks paternity at Virgin Media O2

The company is offering new dads a great paternity leave package and we spoke to one employee about his experiences.

virgin media o2 paternity


Rory Campbell, Head of Base Retentions at Virgin Media O2 has been with the company for nine years. Earlier this year, my he proudly welcomed his first child, a baby boy named Finn, with his wife Louise.

How did you engage with your company’s family policies? 

I was aware of Virgin Media O2’s policies before my wife became pregnant, and I’ve always thought having 14 weeks of paid paternity leave was a brilliant benefit. It’s great to be supported by a company that prioritises family, giving me the opportunity to share an experience with Finn that I would have otherwise missed.

What was the process of sorting it out like? Were you anxious about approaching your line manager or dealing with the admin?

The process of taking paternity leave was straightforward. All the information and next steps are available on our intranet, and our HR team guided me through all the logistics to make sure the time off was properly logged on our system.

However, I was in a slightly unique position. I actually moved roles internally in March to a completely different area of the business. I spoke to my new manager – a conversation I thought would be hard coming into a new job – but I really didn’t need to worry. The manager and the wider team were incredibly supportive and reassuring – both before I went on leave and warmly welcomed me back, too.

What did getting 14 weeks paid paternity leave mean for you and your family? 

It was an incredible opportunity. It meant that I could support my wife as she recovered from the birth, while spending quality time with Finn over a sustained period of time. Everyone always says that the early days fly by so quickly, and I was well aware that I’d never get the time back with Finn as a newborn. Not having to think about returning to work meant I could fully immerse myself in fatherhood.

Over the 14 weeks, we settled into our new life as a family of three and made endless memories, many of which I would have otherwise missed. From attending Finn’s first swimming lesson to visiting family and taking him on his first holiday, I got to be there for all the firsts.

What has it been like coming back to work? 

Being straight-up, leaving Louise and Finn was quite hard. However, my team were incredibly supportive and made the transition really easy. I had check-ins with the team and my manager in the lead up to my return which was reassuring, too.

My role is busier than ever as we’re constantly looking at ways to support our customers during the cost-of-living crisis.  But I’ve found new ways to balance my work and home life, and with the support of Virgin Media O2, I feel empowered to keep personal and professional boundaries to ensure that I’m always around for Finn’s bath time. There’s a great culture at work where I don’t have to compromise on my family, but I’m also set up to deliver the best job for our customers, too. It’s a win-win.

How do you think Virgin Media O2 compares with other companies and what’s been your experience of other people within the company taking up these great policies? 

Almost every single person I speak to about the fact I had 14 weeks of paternity leave has been amazed at how forward-thinking the policy is. I personally don’t know any other companies who offer anything similar to what Virgin Media O2 offer, and it is testament to the culture and values of the organisation that they have this benefit.

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