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Save the Children increases paternity leave to 'practice what we preach'

20 Nov 2019 News

Save the Children has increased its paternity leave from two weeks to three months at full pay, the charity announced today.

The new policy allows all partners, regardless of gender, to take 12 weeks of paid leave during the year following their child’s birth or adoption.

The government provides Statutory Paternity Pay for a maximum of two weeks, at a flat rate of £148.68 per week or 90 per cent of average weekly earnings, whichever is less.

Kevin Watkins, chief executive of Save the Children, said: “Increasing the leave available for parents is good for their health, child development and gender equality. We fight for that in our work around the world.

“This policy puts our commitment to children and their families at the heart of our culture. It’s about practicing what we preach.”

A review of Save the Children had previously revealed that 28 per cent of staff said they have experienced discrimination or harassment in the last three years. One of the recommendations from the review included making the workforce and trustee board more ethnically and socially diverse.

Save the Children has said it is implementing a range of measures in the aim to improve support for its workforce. These changes include the creation of new staff equality networks.

A ‘transformative step towards truly equal parenthood’

Laura-Louise Fairley, Save the Children’s accountability manager and co-chair of the Parents’ Network, said: “Mums and dads at Save the Children want to live in a society where all parents have the chance to play an active role in their baby’s first months, regardless of wealth or how their child was born. 

“The current Shared Parental Leave system in Britain simply doesn’t work, so we came up with something better. We’re delighted Save the Children has taken this transformative step towards truly equal parenthood.”

The policy has been backdated to 1 October 2019 and is available to all employees who met the qualifying criteria on that date. It is independent of statutory parental leave policies, including Shared Parental Leave and unpaid parental leave.

According to a survey of more than 400 UK companies and organisations, including 30 in the charity sector, Save the Children will now have one of the longer paternity leave policies. 

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