Every day, Good Law Project campaigns for good governance, justice and equality. We’re trying to make the UK a better, fairer place to live, and we aim to practise what we preach. That’s why we’ve decided to introduce our new family leave policy. From now on, everyone who has worked at Good Law Project for a minimum amount of time will be eligible for the same family leave benefits, regardless of their gender.
It was Equal Pay Day on Thursday 18 November; the symbolic point in the year when, thanks to the difference in average pay, women stop getting paid. There’s a lot that needs to be done to close the gender pay gap, but ensuring their partners get the same family leave benefits as new mothers is a step in the right direction.
Gender equality is often discussed as a priority by organisations and companies, but women still end up taking the bigger share of parental leave. That’s partly because the Government’s existing rules only include two weeks of paternity leave at 90 per cent pay. This makes new fathers much less likely to take extended leave and incentivises new mothers to take the lion’s share of childcare responsibilities.
Our policy, in contrast, gives staff six months leave at full pay and will apply if an employee is pregnant, if their partner is pregnant, if they have been matched with a child for adoption, or if they will become a parent through surrogacy. This is considerably higher than the legal minimum for maternity and paternity pay, and will apply equally to all members of staff who have worked with us for more than 26 weeks.
We believe that equal parental leave and childcare rights help to break down ingrained gender roles. They encourage shared childcare responsibilities and give parents the freedom to choose the way that best suits their needs, without having to worry about sacrificing a career or earnings potential, let alone having enough to live on when there is an addition to the family.
We understand the challenges of balancing the demands of work and family life. A good, clear policy can help enormously when an employee is starting a family or extending it. Our new family leave policy will help us to maintain a happy workforce, and a positive, collaborative culture at Good Law Project. It allows us to ‘live our values’ and our drive to see a fair, inclusive and equal society.
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