Standard Life Aberdeen introducing ‘market leading’ parental leave policy

Huge new offer for dads removes many of the barriers to men taking more leave with flexibility and full pay



Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) are the latest City firm to give dads more parental leave.

The firm is introducing what they claim is a market leading policy. All parents will be entitled to 52 weeks leave, 40 weeks of that fully paid.

That trumps the statutory Shared Parental Leave offer in which the primary caregiver has to give up some of their leave. Inevitably that generally means the mother handing leave to the father.

The new policy will be introduced at the beginning of next year. Employees of the financial behemoth will have the option to take the full year’s leave in one go, or in three separate blocks over two years.

SLA will also offer additional leave to parents of babies born prematurely.

Difficult decisions

“Current arrangements – whether statutory or enhanced – can mean new parents have to make difficult decisions about who can afford to take leave and whether one parent’s time with the child takes away from the other,” said chief HR officer Rose Thomson. “We think that needs to change,”

The company says the £11 billion merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management in 2017 provided an opportunity to design their parental leave policy from scratch.

Rose Thomson explained, “We are a family friendly employer and our new policy represents a potentially life changing opportunity for new parents – whatever their family circumstances. We know that our people need to balance their work lives with their personal lives and this new policy is one example of the actions we’re taking to help them maintain that balance.

“Whether you’re two mothers, two fathers, a mother and a father, whatever the size and shape of your family the fact you’re a parent is something that is universal. It makes absolutely no sense to have any barriers to any parents being able to enjoy the benefit of spending time with their family.”.

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