We’ve announced a new, market-leading parent leave policy that sets a new precedent across businesses in the UK.

From 1 January 2020, all of our employees in the UK welcoming a child into their family will be entitled to:

  • 52 weeks’ leave
  • 40 weeks of full paid leave regardless of gender, which includes parents who adopt or have a child by a surrogate
  • The option to take these 52 weeks as one, two or three periods of leave, over two years from the birth or placement
  • Additional paid leave if they have a pre-term baby 

The policy means that the primary caregiver does not have to share their entitlement and end their parental leave early.

The policy applies whether the mother gives birth to the baby, the baby is born via surrogacy, or if the child is adopted. All new parents are eligible, regardless of gender, family set-up or how long they have been at the company.

If a baby is born premature, the policy also offers additional leave to cover the period between birth and 37 weeks, to support parents in what can be challenging circumstances.

A flexible approach

The new policy is flexible and allows parents to take the full 12 months off together or in up to three separate blocks over two years, in a way that suits them, their family and career.

By equalising the opportunity to take paid leave for parents of all genders, the policy is a tangible step to ensure that becoming a parent does not limit anyone’s career potential at Standard Life Aberdeen.

The new policy also meets the commitments we’ve made as part of our Gender Action Plan.

Rose Thomson, Chief HR Officer at Standard Life Aberdeen, commented:

"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. We think that needs to change.

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."


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