Standard Life Aberdeen has launched a ground breaking new parent scheme for its workforce.
From January 1, 2020, all Standard Life Aberdeen employees in the UK 'welcoming a child into their family' will be entitled to 52 weeks leave.
This includes 40 weeks of full paid leave - regardless of gender and includes parents who adopt or have a child by a surrogate.
Rose Thomson, Chief HR Officer at Standard Life Aberdeen, said: "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."
The option to take the 52 weeks as one, two or three periods of leave, over two years from the birth or placement will be offered, along with additional paid leave to support parents who have a pre-term baby.
The new policy means that every new parent is entitled to 40 weeks leave on their full pay.
Sinead and Steve are a couple who both work at Standard Life Aberdeen and are expecting their first child together.
Steve had originally planned to take his two weeks of partner leave immediately after his child was born and then use holiday to spend more time with his family. They also considered sharing some of Sinead’s leave allowance so that Sinead returned to work earlier and Steve stayed at home with the baby.
Steve said: “The new policy is brilliant on a number of fronts; it really does create an equal playing field between men and women. It gives me a massive opportunity to be around for Sinead and our new baby, in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to be before, and that is really exciting.”
By equalising the opportunity to take paid leave for parents of all genders, the company said its policy was a 'tangible step to ensure that becoming a parent does not limit anyone’s career potential at Standard Life Aberdeen'.
Ms Thomson added: "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."