Aviva has certainly raised the standard of family friendly treatment of its staff by introducing for all new mothers and fathers a period of 6 months' fully paid leave.
It is the first employer in the UK to make such a move and will offer the terms without regard to how the employee became a parent (including adoption or surrogacy).
Since the law changed in 2015, parents have been able to share 52 weeks of leave and be paid for 39 of those weeks at £140.38 per week. But this change by Aviva means parents do not have to share the leave. If both parents work for Aviva, each has their own equal allowance.
Alan Lewis, employment partner with Irwin Mitchell says, "In times where we are seeing an increased emphasis on family-friendly cultures for the modern workplace, this is a very encouraging move by Aviva. It will be interesting to note just how many other employers follow suit. They may be forced to in a competitive recruitment market."
Sarah Morris, chief people officer at Aviva, said: “We think this is one of the most ground-breaking, family-friendly policies offered by any employer. "It’s time to equalise parental leave and create a level playing field for men and women who want to take time out from their career to spend with their family."