Equal Parental Leave – Is change needed? [#AD]

Get with the Times… A hands on Dads view on Equal Parental Leave – #Equalparentaleave #AD.

Becoming a Dad is one of the most memorable experiences that I will ever have and the role I have taken on as a father is my most important in life. One thing when on my journey to fatherhood that I never really thought of was the ins and outs of what I would be entitled to for Paternity leave. Shared Parental Leave and Equal Parental Leave, were terms I had never even heard of!

My princess tribe (my 5 girls)

Being a Dad/Step Dad to 5 girls this subject I find is very important, especially as throughout my Career as a Butcher and during my time as a Warehouse Supervisor in the Motor Parts Industry I was only entitled to the UK Government’s Statutory Paternity Leave and Paternity Pay.

It is beneficial for our children in the early stages, to cement that Parent and Child bond. At the end of the day our children are our Future, surely there are better policies and things that could be put in place for employees within Large companies. Not forgetting some elements of change that could be made to Statutory Government policies and also for those who are self employed.

Now I would like you to read on to discover how one of the UK’s Industry Leading Companies offers their employees who are parents Equal Parental Leave.

Being completely honest, I wish at the time my children were born, I had access to this kind of policy to make use of.

Aviva Leading the way at the Forefront for Parents in the UK.

Since becoming the stay at home dad with my girls (now 5 of them by the way – 3 daughters, 2 step daughters – which you can read more on here) I have learnt more than I ever thought I could with regards what was actually accessible and available out there for Parents.

Here is a collage of me and my 2 youngest Daughters when they were born, accompanied by my eldest daughter.

Just me and 3 of my girls – #EqualParentalLeave

With my 2 younger daughters, Pig and Beast, I was in full time employment when they were both born. On both occasions, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I was only entitled to the government’s Statutory Paternity Leave and Paternity Pay.

Now for the Parents out there who are unsure of what the Government policy is for Maternity Leave and Maternity Pay or Paternity Leave and Paternity Pay is then you can find more about them from the gov.uk website by clicking these – Statutory Maternity Leave & Pay and Statutory Paternity Leave and Pay.

I was taken aback a little when Aviva contacted me in regards to an Important Campaign they were launching and wanted me to get involved in spreading the word with them on their #EqualParentalLeave campaign.

I mean, we have all heard of Aviva, we have seen the adverts on the telly box and heard on the radio as well. However, I soon learnt one thing that I never knew about them.

Aviva is a savings, retirement and insurance business serving 18 million customers in its core markets.. Their main purpose is to be with you today, for a better tomorrow.

I actually never realised how supportive of an employer they are for Parents, both Mums as well as Dads. They are leading the way in terms of Policies which will help to benefit Families employed by Aviva in the UK.

An inforgraphic showing an image of new parents with their baby and text of What some parents employed by Aviva UK have to say regarding the Equal Parental Leave Policy.
What some parents employed by Aviva UK have to say regarding the Equal Parental Leave Policy.

Aviva’s Equal Parental Leave is offered to Aviva Staff in the UK irrespective of gender, sexual Orientation, or even how they became parents, for example whether that be conceiving naturally or  adoption

What is this Amazing Policy that is concreting Aviva as one of the Leading Employers in the UK regarding Equal Parental Leave?

Aviva as an employer offer their staff up to a year of parental leave, with 6 months at full pay for each Parent who is employed by the company within the first 12 months following the birth of their child. This applies to all of Aviva’s staff in its UK offices.

Here you can see some statistics regarding Aviva Dads and how they have benefitted from Aviva Uk's Equal Parental Leave policy.
Here you can see some statistics regarding Aviva Dads and how they have benefitted from Aviva Uk’s Equal Parental Leave policy.

Now that Aviva have launched their Equal Parental Leave Campaign, they are aiming to get other Large Companies within the UK to follow in their footsteps.

Aviva wants to promote these changes that are, in my opinion needed, especially following the last 18 months due to the Coronavirus and lockdowns having such an impact on Families and Parents where pregnancy and childbirth is concerned.

Aviva are shining a light on this and calling others to join them in light of the companies policies 3rd Anniversary, yep that is correct. Aviva have had their Equal Parental Leave Policy for Three Years.

For the companies 3rd Anniversary of their Equal Parental Leave Policy, Aviva has released a new report which focuses on the uptake of the scheme throughout 2020 during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

I think after so much of the UK population experienced working from home, having to be available and more hands on for their family and children, this Policy is one that should be looked up to and followed by not just other Large companies but the UK government too. I believe they should look to change the Statutory policies regarding Maternity Leave and Pay and Paternity Leave and Pay.

Findings from the Report Released from Aviva regarding Equal Parental Leave during the Pandemic.

You can read the full Report from Aviva Here, It highlights some important points which following on from the pandemic show why a change to Equal Parental Leave and Shared Parental Leave needs to be addressed and brought up to date with the times.

Aviva have spoken with Dads within the Company regarding their Equal Parental Leave Policy.

Aviva have spoken with Dads that are employed within the company here in the UK, you can read more from the Aviva Dads interviewed Here.

They highlighted that over 600 plus Aviva colleagues took advantage of the equal parental leave policy in 2020, this especially showing its popularity in the pandemic. Some Aviva dads even reflected on their life in lockdown as a new parent.

Kenny Kerr works within the Digital Knowledge team for Aviva here in the UK. He’s worked for the company for almost ten years and took equal parental leave from December 2019 to June 2020 before the pandemic hit and the nation was placed under lockdown.

This is some of the following that Kenny had to share regarding Aviva as an employer and how their Equal Parenting Policy helped him and his partner following the birth of their son.

Overall Aviva are at the front leading the pack with Regards Equal Parental leave and Shared Parental Leave.

As an employer from someone from the outside like myself and a Dad who I’d like to think as a hands on Dad, I wish more employers would follow in their footsteps and offer employees the same or a similar policy with regards to Equal Parental Leave.

I know if I could have had the opportunity to do so I would have taken full advantage of it to spend time with my family following such a large change in the dynamic within our home and family life, but also to enjoy the time, make memories that with your child you will only have once, being the Stay at Home Dad full time to my Girls has shown me that, our bond has become stronger and the memories we have made are irreplaceable and ones I shall never forget.

Now I have a few questions for you, if companies such as Aviva can offer this kind of policy to their employees, what is actually stopping other large companies following suit?

Here are a few questions for you from me and my youngest daughter Beast.

Please do Leave a Comment and discuss this topic as I strongly believe it is an important subject that is ready for a change for us parents here in the UK, also Share the post so that we can reach more parents with regards to this important topic and see what their thoughts and experiences are of Parental Leave with their employers past or present.

Share on social media to help reach those that find the content useful.

23 Thoughts to “Equal Parental Leave – Is change needed? [#AD]”

  1. Dom

    Great read Eddie! I was able to take additional paternity leave (I think that’s been replaced by shared parental leave now) when our eldest came along for the first 6 weeks after my wife went back to work and loved having that time together.

    1. Thats amazing Dom, that time together is precious isn’t it. Thank you for reading and commenting Dom.

  2. Fascinating read Eddie. Change definitely is needed. If a company like Aviva can do it, then many other should follow suit. I know of many who have missed out on opportunities with their children due to work policies.

    1. Thats the thing isn’t it, the companies can definitely do it, Aviva has shown this. I hope to see change start to happen. Thanks Damion

  3. Laura

    Having baby number 2 in November 2020, we were ‘lucky’ that Daddy was put on furlough so got the first 2 months off with us. It was such a huge help to me that we could support our older daughter with the change to being a big sister and give them both focus. It allowed Daddy time with both his girls and gave me chance to recover from birth. It is such an important time to bond and be there for your family, and in a time when the mum is often on the minimum SMP, it would be amazing to have full pay and Daddy at home. Employers really do need to value and understand how important being a new Dad is, and support employees during such a hugr life change. Its great that Aviva are leading in this conversation and proving how well it works for their staff.

    1. Thank you for sharing this Laura, furlough isn’t great but I guess this was a big positive of it being able to spend that precious time with Baby.

      This is something that needs to be addressed both by employers and the government to bring this into the modern times we are living in with more Dads wanting to be at home with the family and more involved with their children.

  4. Hayley Lattimore

    Well done Aviva! I work for the biggest Electrical retailer and I got 6 weeks at 90% and then statutory! It’s pressure you don’t need when you have a new baby to care for. Great read Eddie and again well done Aviva for stepping up the Maternity/Paternity game 💪🏼

    1. Thank you Hayley, there is some way to go to equalise this to the modern ways of family life and parenting isn’t it.

  5. Really interesting to read Kenny’s story. It compares interestingly with your own and the occupations you used to follow. My previous employer when my youngest came along (I worked part time) only paid statutory leave and it simply isn’t enough, especially if there are complications following the arrival of a child. Great work Aviva!

    1. Statutory isn’t enough, Employers and the government should be looking to improve on their policies similar to Aviva to offer more to suit the modern family and parents, who want to be more involved with their children and families.

  6. Aviva is clearly a company that is paying more than lip service to supporting their employees. Here in Canada, those kinds of programs are very rare. Most people have to survive on the pittance that is paid by our government-funded employment insurance program. Even 18 years ago, when I had my last child, my maternity benefits amounted to about 25% of my pay. It took very careful planning to manage on that for a year.

  7. Great read and so true! When my hubby and I had our daughter in the UK he was only allowed 2 weeks off. I had a c section so I wasn’t allowed to lift most things for 12 weeks and it was a nightmare when he went back to work. If he’d have had paid parent leave for the full 12-weeks it would have been amazing. Now we live in Australia and it’s even worse over here. Women can have around 4.5 months off, and men get like a week or two. It’s rubbish! Definitely time for change. BTW Wow 5 girls that’s awesome 🙂 girls are the best. 5 daddies girls lol!

    1. It isn’t a lot at all either is it, thats great to know your hubby wanted to be home to help and be involved, it is just a shame that more isn’t available to offer parents that time.

      Something that needs addressing in other areas not just the UK by the sounds of it.

      Yeah 5 girls 😊 hard work but wouldn’t have it any other way. In a way they all are but my youngest I’ve been home with since she was 6 months old, now 2 1/2 she really is a massive daddies girl 😁.
      Thanks for reading and your comment, hope you and the family are well and safe.

      1. Awww you must love being at home with her for all her life so far, She’s be a proper Daddies girl for life. Too cute! When we moved to Oz, my hubby looked after our girl until she was 2 and a half. He loved it. Yes more change needed. They might sort it out by the time our kids have grown up and had kids of their own! All safe and well. Hope you are all good too 🙂

  8. That really isn’t a lot at all Michelle, very careful planning by the sound of it. Thank you for reading and your comment, hope you and the family are keeping well.

  9. I love that you share your thoughts on the need for equal parental leave and how some businesses are already incorporating it. I believe it is wholesome and necessary for kids to grow up in company of both parents as much as possible. 🙂

    1. It is great to see some businesses incorporating it already isn’t it, I believe there will be many more mothers and fathers out there that would agree with this and would like to see it more widespread. I agree with you, there are benefits for children growing up with both parents more present. Thank you for reading and your comment.

  10. This is certainly a change that needs to happen. When i took shared parental leave two years ago, my and my wife’s employment had to draft the forms as I was the first. So while things are heading in the right direction, they need to keep going. Well done to Aviva. Maybe I need a career change before the next child 😀

    1. Thats great that your employer was able and willing to do that for you and work along with your wife’s employer also to make it possible for you.
      This benefit is great isn’t it, it is also proof to other employers and the government that it can work and benefit all parents.

      1. Yeah it was great but its still not perfect. Equal leave should really be a thing. Maybe in time it will be

        1. I’m not sure how long it may take but I think it will get there.

          1. Just too late for us oldies 🤣

          2. Very well could be 🤣

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