Edinburgh-based investment giant Standard Life Aberdeen — one of Scotland’s biggest employers — has introduced a new parental leave policy that allows all parents, regardless of gender or family set up, to take nine months of full paid leave.
From January 1, 2020, Standard Life Aberdeen said all its employees in the UK welcoming a child into their family will be entitled to 52 weeks leave and 40 weeks of full paid leave regardless of gender.
This includes parents who adopt or have a child by a surrogate.
The policy gives the option to take these 52 weeks as one, two or three periods of leave over two years from the birth or placement — and additional paid leave to support parents who have a pre-term baby.
Standard Life Aberdeen employs around 6,000 people around the world and about 4,500 in the UK who would be eligible for the new parent policy.
The firm manages and administers about £577 billion of assets worldwide.
Standard Life Aberdeen Chief HR Officer Rose Thomson said: “Current arrangements — whether statutory or enhanced — can mean new parents have to make difficult decisions about who can afford to take leave and whether one parent’s time with the child, takes away from the other.
“We think that needs to change.
“We are a family friendly employer and our new policy represents a potentially life changing opportunity for new parents – whatever their family circumstances.
“We know that our people need to balance their work lives with their personal lives and this new policy is one example of the actions we’re taking to help them maintain that balance.”