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Santander offers time off to new grandparents

Category: Industry News, Flexible Working, Finance, Scheme, pioneer

Santander offers time off to new grandparents

Santander introduces pioneering scheme to provide shared parental leave with Grandparents

  • Santander introduces pioneering scheme to provide shared parental leave with Grandparents
  • Enhances existing family friendly policies
  • Basildon-based family to become first beneficiaries

Santander has today announced that it will extend its Shared Parental Leave scheme to include grandparents to provide employees with a new or growing family greater flexibility over their work life balance.

The innovative scheme, which will allow new parents to share their parental leave with their parents as well as their partners, is now available to all 20,000 employees at the bank’s 850 branches and 68 regional Corporate Business Centres.

In October last year the Government announced plans to consult on a major new extension of shared parental leave, with the aim of implementing the policy by 2018. Independently of this, Santander has been exploring ways to expand its own family policies.  Extending shared parental leave to grandparents reflects the fact that many parents call on the support of their wider family to help with childcare, but this has to be balanced with the work commitments of those family members.

With people living longer than in previous generations and having longer careers, we are seeing multi-generational working of families within Santander. This scheme – which we believe is the first of its kind – will enable employees to exercise a greater degree of choice and control over their parental leave and childcare arrangements.

Alongside this greater flexibility, Santander is also introducing an enhancement to its maternity pay that will entitle employees to 16 weeks of full pay – a provision which will also be matched for Grandparents and partners who take Shared Parental Leave.

Case study: Essex-based family to share extended parental leave

Leanne Pegley and her mother Teresa, who both work at Santander branches in Essex, are set to become the first beneficiaries of this new scheme. Leanne, who is expecting a child in early April, plans to share the new extended Shared Parental Leave with her mother.

Leanne said: “The new scheme is a massive boost in helping us plan for our new baby.  I believe that all family members have a big role to play in bringing up children but obviously everybody has their own commitments as well.  With the shared parental leave we can all balance our work and family life and have the best of both worlds.”

Vicky Wallis, HR Director at Santander UK, said: “To enable new mothers to share their maternity leave with a grandparent ahead of new legislation is a real landmark.  It is the result of positive discussions and commitment from across the organisation and our trade unions Advance and CWU. We are particularly looking forward to maintaining contact with Leanne and Teresa, together with other Santander colleagues who choose to take advantage of this policy, and ensuring their transition back into work is as smooth as possible.”

Linda Rolph, General Secretary of Advance, commented: “This is a really progressive move from Santander and we are delighted that we’ve been able to support the development of the new scheme.  It is vital that today’s employers do all they can to enable their workforce to balance their commitments in and out of the workplace and it is very positive to see Santander leading the way in this area.”

Santander also proactively offered all employees the option to request a flexible working pattern ahead of legislation making this mandatory, and was also early to introduce a Shared Parental Leave scheme.  The policy was made available to partners of maternity leavers, same-sex couples and new adopters, and a number of the bank’s employees have benefitted from scheme since its implementation in April 2015.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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