All new mums and dads at Aviva to get fully paid parental leave

PUBLISHED: 10:24 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:24 24 November 2017

Aviva Group logo. The company is offering equal paid parental leave to all new parents. Picture: Lloyd Sturdy/VisualMedia

Aviva Group logo. The company is offering equal paid parental leave to all new parents. Picture: Lloyd Sturdy/VisualMedia

Lloyd Sturdy/VisualMedia

A regional insurance giant is “levelling the playing field” for new mums – and dads – by offering equal paid leave.

The group-wide initiative at Aviva will see employees receive 26 weeks leave on full basic pay following the arrival of a new child, whether through birth, adoption or surrogacy.

It applies to full and part time staff across the company – regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

The policy is part of a strategy by the firm, which has its headquarters in Surrey Street in Norwich, to improve inclusiveness and remove barriers to career progression.

Sarah Morris, chief people officer at Aviva, claimed it was “one of the most ground-breaking, family-friendly policies offered by any employer”.

“It’s time to equalise parental leave and create a level playing field for men and women who want to take time out from their career to spend with their family,” she said.

“This will transform the first year of parenthood for many families, giving them the opportunity to spend precious time together. It’s one of our commitments to build a more inclusive and diverse culture at Aviva.”

Aviva said if both parents work for the company they will each have their own entitlement to leave and pay – which both can take at the same time.

The policy came into effect on November 19 for employees in the UK, Ireland, France, Singapore and Canada, with Aviva aiming to extend it to all of its businesses in the next year.

Group chief executive Mark Wilson said: “I want to live in a world where the only criteria for success is someone’s talent, not their gender. Treating parents equally will help make this happen.

“We want Aviva to be a progressive, inclusive, welcoming place to work. It’s good for our people and it’s also good business sense.”

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