Parental leave: levelling the playing field

20.06.23 5 min read by Jill O'Grady, Head of HR

At Muse, we are constantly looking at ways we can improve gender equality and foster a family-friendly culture of inclusivity and support for our colleagues.

One of the key ways we can do this is levelling the playing field when it comes to parental leave.

We’ve recently reviewed our parental leave policies to ensure we’re doing our very best to support colleagues as they embark on this important chapter of their lives.

We now offer enhanced shared parental leave package of 26 weeks full pay, to enable parents to take leave in a more flexible way during the baby’s first year, with both parents able to take time off at the same time or separately.

This helps to ensure that parenting isn’t solely the responsibility of working women. It helps to level the playing field when it comes to how men and women are viewed in the workplace and ultimately, the gender pay gap that can come with that disparity.

We’ve also increased our enhanced maternity pay to 26 weeks full pay, followed by 26 weeks of half pay. We want to offer as much choice as possible to new parents when they’re deciding what’s best for them and their families.

And to enable partners and spouses to spend more time with their family, we’ve enhanced statutory paternity leave from two to four weeks, which can be taken in blocks of a week any time from birth up until the child’s first birthday.

We know how life-changing and challenging being a new parent can be, so we offer a parental transition coaching programme to all new parents and their line managers. This provides support and opens up lines of communication before, during parental leave and on return to work. We’ve had some great feedback from colleagues who have taken part.

Another way we support colleagues is during IVF and fertility treatment. We understand this can be a very challenging time and so we offer five days paid leave per treatment cycle and colleagues with partners undergoing treatment three days paid leave per cycle, both for up to three treatments.

We also offer a range of flexible working arrangements to help colleagues balance working life and the demands of raising a family.

Addressing equality in the workplace has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years, but we know there is still a long way to go, so we regularly review our practices and ask colleagues for their views so we can constantly keep improving.

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