- Increasing paternity/partner leave to eight weeks full pay – more than a fourfold increase on the current policy
- Increasing maternity leave to 26 weeks full pay, and a further 26 weeks Statutory Maternity Pay, doubling the amount of full pay staff members have access to
- Introducing carer’s leave for the first time to ensure all members of staff can take up to four weeks of unpaid leave in a year;
- Improving bereavement leave to include two weeks of full pay when losing a member of immediate family.
Wates will also continue to match enhanced entitlement for shared parental leave and adoption leave with maternity leave and pay.
The new policies will help attract and develop a diverse workforce while helping to close the gender pay gap by enabling more sharing of responsibilities at work and home.
David Allen, Chief Executive at Wates Group, said: “To be truly fit for the future and to continue to succeed, we need to become a more progressive and inclusive organisation.
“So, we want to give all our people the flexibility and support they need to thrive in the workplace and at home.
“These new policies will help us do just that. They provide support for everyone at all stages of their working lives and are tangible evidence of our commitment to being a flexible and responsible employer and to investing in all the members of our tremendous team.”
Nikunj Upadhyay, Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Wates Group, said: “Surveys of parents in the workplace indicate that men want to be more present for their children and elderly parents, but that current public policy, perceived expectations and organisational practices are barriers to this desire.
“We also know that one of the biggest reasons for gender pay gap is that women tend to spend more time out of work in their careers due to caring responsibilities.
“Family friendly policies enable more equal sharing of work. These changes reflect the needs of modern families and will help us develop a diverse environment where everyone is welcomed, included and connected.”
Sir Robert McAlpine has made a similar move with the introduction of “Family First” which will see:
- Both men and women entitled to 26 weeks’ paid leave, no matter how their family grows (birth, adoption or surrogacy).
- Parents benefit from enhanced family leave after just 12 months’ employment, rather than two years previously.
- Introduction of carer leave for those with caring responsibilities.
- Ability to request unpaid parental leave from day one, which previously only applied to those with one year’s service.
Karen Brookes, Executive Director of People and Infrastructure, Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “We aim to lead by example on inclusion, and the launch of our new Family First policies takes us one step further towards our ambition to be a flexible, family-friendly business that is the Best Place to Work.”