Commercial real estate organisation Cushman and Wakefield, which has 51,000 employees globally and 2,000 in the UK, has announced it will be trebling paternity leave for UK staff, from two to six weeks.
The new 3+3 paternity leave package, which will come in to effect from 1 January 2020, will allow men, who make up approximately 58% of UK employees, to take three weeks of fully paid leave from work upon the birth of a child, with the option of taking a further three weeks of paid leave at any time within the following 18 months.
This enhanced benefit will be available to all UK-based employees, regardless of whether they become new parents through birth, adopting or surrogacy, and regardless of whether they are part of a same sex couple.
The decision to triple the paternity leave follows a consultation project how best to support new families, undertaken by the Work/Life and Gender groups within Inspire, Cushman and Wakefield’s UK diversity and inclusion programme. This process included an anonymised survey of new parents.
The organisation’s benefits package already includes shared parental leave, 26 weeks of enhanced statutory maternity pay, two weeks of fully paid ‘ramping back up’ time for mothers returning to work, as well as leave for special circumstances such as caring for dependents. As part of the return-to-work programme, employees can choose the flexible approach that works best for them, either returning for only a few days per week, or working reduced or flexible hours.
George Roberts, head of UK and Ireland at Cushman and Wakefield, said: “The arrival of a child is a joyous and life changing experience for both parents, but for too many fathers, including myself, the time spent at home is all too brief. It just felt right that we should recognise the changing attitudes to not only work but also parenting when assessing what we can do to support our people.
“By offering six weeks [of] fully paid leave to new fathers, we are providing the tools that will support our entire workforce in better balancing their careers while starting, growing and supporting a family.”