Zurich the latest company to introduce Covid leave for dads

Insurance company Zurich is offering parents an extra two weeks of paid leave while schools are closed.

Stressed looking dad works at kitchen table whilst looking after small boy


Insurance giant Zurich is adding to its offer for working dads with two weeks of extra Covid leave for parents.

With a new lockdown underway and another round of home school the firm is offering a fortnight of paid leave for parents who face childcare emergencies following the closure of schools. Employees with other caring responsibilities can also make use of the extra leave allowance. The company says more than one in five of Zurich’s 4,500 UK employees with children will benefit.

Flexibility for employees

The new approach allows employees to take an additional 10 days paid leave while primary and secondary schools remain shut.  The days can be taken individually, or consecutively. 

Steve Collinson, Zurich’s Head of HR, said: “With schools closed, working parents will be frantically trying to juggle their jobs and childcare responsibilities.  We already offer flexibility for employees who want to change their working hours or structure some days differently.  But for parents trying to balance work, childcare and home schooling, this may not be enough.  We’re helping our employees get through this crisis by offering mums and dads paid time-off so they can look after their health and their family.  This is also available for anyone with other caring commitments.”

Other measures

The new leave comes on top of a number of other measures the company has introduced to aid employees since the pandemic kicked in in March last year.

These include: 

  • Free antibody tests for all 4,500 UK staff, their partners and anyone over the age of 18 living at their house.
  • Car park season tickets refunds for all employees until the offices open again, completely at Zurich’s expense
  • Option to reduce pension salary sacrifice for the year
  • Option to sell holiday back to the company
  • The provision of additional free office equipment to ensure safe and effective working from home
  • Launch of a wellbeing hub which includes Babylon, a virtual GP provider for all staff and families
  • Reduced childcare vouchers to just £1
  • Emergency loan of up to £750 per person available 72 hours following approval
  • Access to Lifeworks which includes access to advice and counselling, well-being assessments and coaching programmes

The company already equalised enhanced parental leave to 16 weeks at full pay for dads as well as mums. And they made headlines around the world last year when they began advertising all jobs as flexible, part time or job share. That resulted in an across the board jump in applications from men as well as women.

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