Insurance company Aviva is offering equal parental leave for men and women, with six months’ pay, in a move praised for progressing diversity.
Mums and dads employed by Aviva will be offered the same benefits of up to a years leave, with 26 weeks of full pay.
The company in a statement have stated this is “regardless of gender, sexual orientation or how they became a parent”.
“The new policy is part of Aviva’s strategy to create a diverse and inclusive working culture in which barriers to career progression are removed,” the company said.
Andy Case, a regional officer for Unite, said: “Unite believes that the parental leave policy announced today is market leading and represents a significant and positive step forward for equality in the workplace.
“We are keen to hear our members’ comments on this positive initiative, which we will feed back to Aviva management as part of our ongoing dialogue on equality, diversity and inclusion.”
The policy will be launched in the UK, Ireland, France, Singapore and Canada.
It will launch for those employees who became parents on or after 19 November, eventually extending to its other businesses for 2018.
The policy will be available to any employee regardless of the amount of time they have worked at Aviva or how much they earn.
The Guardian reports that part-time employees are also eligible for the leave, and there is no requirement to share leave between parents even if they both work for the insurer.
The Aviva chief executive, Mark Wilson, said: “I want to live in a world where the only criteria for success is someone’s talent, not their gender. Treating parents equally will help make this happen.
“We want Aviva to be a progressive, inclusive, welcoming place to work. It’s good for our people and it’s also good business sense.”