It’s been almost a year since we tore up our maternity and paternity leave policies. We replaced it with Parental Leave 2.0 – a one-page parental leave offering of 12 weeks at full pay for all new parents at FundApps regardless of gender, location, family structure or tenure.
We also wrote a blog about it on LinkedIn and watched as thousands of people engaged in the content and started a conversation about parental leave – everything from recognising the importance of inclusion and parity; to the need for businesses to create the path for legislative change; to stories from parents who wish they had more time with their new bundles of joy; to views of men and women, and different family structures, that were well past their expiry dates.
Since we introduced Parental Leave 2.0 in 2018, we have learned the following things:
- New parents really appreciated it
- Candidates in our recruitment process were drawn to FundApps because of it
- Nobody abused it
- There was still room for us to make it even better.
- We have offices in the UK, USA, Singapore and remote team members throughout Europe. For the most part, the legislation covering statutory maternity and paternity leave is slow to catch up to increasing recognition by companies of the importance of supporting new parents and inclusion of parents in the workplace, regardless of family structures.
In the UK, for example, new mums are covered by statutory maternity pay for 39 weeks. After the first six weeks new mums receive either the lower of £148.68 or 90% of your average weekly earnings. New dads are covered by statutory paternity pay for 2 weeks at the same rate as above.
Let’s put that in perspective… For a full-time employee, in comparison to their usual salary, that’s roughly 48% of the UK minimum wage, and if you’re in London like we are, roughly 38% of the London living wage. This creates a reliance on secondary income or companies to provide enhanced benefits, or a need to return to work, or presents a barrier to being a parent at all. It gets worse for our US employees where the statutory entitlement is unpaid. The flow-on effect to this is a significant impact on the financial, emotional and psychological wellbeing of parents, and something that FundApps, and all companies, have a role in shifting.
Introducing Parental Leave 2.0 in 2018 at the rate of 12 weeks at full pay was our first step in a movement towards greater inclusion, equality, engagement and wellbeing for all parents at FundApps. So, on the back of us learning of several new FundApper parents this year, our value of Raise the Bar, and in light of us becoming a certified B Corporation, we have released Parental Leave 3.0. Here’s the TL;DR:
- All new parents receive 26 weeks of paid leave, regardless of gender, location, family structure or circumstances
- The leave is flexible to take at any point in the first two years following the child’s birth or adoption
- The same offering is available in the event of stillbirth
- No minimum tenure requirements – we think these are stupid anyway ?
- We’ll continue to offer unlimited, paid time off for prenatal, medical or adoption appointments for both mums and dads and flexible options for return to work.
In our mind, this should be the minimum and the norm. We aren’t the first company to take this step but we want to make sure we aren’t the last. For us, the evolution of our parental leave has always been about creating a workplace where all parents at FundApps, regardless of gender, location or circumstances, can celebrate the joy that is parenthood, and fully engage with their new bundle of joy!