Who has set the Highest bar for parental leave? 👶

11th November 2019


Standard Life gives birth to new parental leave policy.

Parental leave continues to be a hot topic, with Standard Life Aberdeen announcing the birth of a new parental leave policy. The new policy gives its 4500 employees nine months’ leave, with the scheme starting from Jan 1st, 2020. Employees receive full pay for 40 weeks whilst 12 weeks would be unpaid.

It’s a generous offer but likely to cost over £5million extra to the £577billion group. Between 180 and 200 staff are likely to benefit from the policy.

The benefits will apply to any employee in the UK and will include those who have chosen adoption or have children via surrogacy. They can take the 52 weeks as one, two or three periods of leave, over two years from birth.

How this new policy compares

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) pays any employee earning at least £118 a week. This is paid for up to 39 weeks. You get:
• The first 6 weeks pays 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax)
• For the next 33 weeks pays 148.68 or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower)

SMP is paid in the same way as your wages (for example monthly or weekly). Tax and National Insurance are deducted.

A maternity pay calculator works out how much you could get.
If you take Shared Parental Leave you’ll get Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). ShPP is £148.68 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower.

Accenture pays 36 weeks of maternity, the only employer coming close to this new deal.

Parental Leave and Gender equality

It’s an important step in gender equality and campaigners cite the move as a good step to reducing the gender pay gap. The investment company said its policy is a move that will ensure that career potential does not end with parenthood.

The Telegraph quotes the Office of National Statistics figures that women aged 40 to 49 are more likely than ever to work as managers, directors and senior officials. This not only reflects the growing trend of having children later in life but suggests better support during maternity leave and return to work.

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