Natwest Group replaces paternity leave with inclusive partner policy

EXCLUSIVE: Natwest Group introduces wellbeing initiatives to support 64,000 employeesNatwest Group has introduced an enhanced parental leave policy, referred to as ‘partner leave’, for employees in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar, Republic of Ireland, India and Poland, which will come into effect in January 2023.

The partner leave allowance has replaced the bank’s existing paternity leave policies and provide the same pay and leave entitlement upon the arrival of a child to all eligible new parents, regardless of gender. The policy is open to same sex as well as heterosexual parents, and can be used whether a child has arrived through birth, adoption, or surrogacy.

In the UK, Guernsey, Jersey and Gibraltar, new parents have been given up to 52 weeks of leave, with the first 24 fully paid. They will then receive the equivalent statutory maternity or adoption pay for the next 15 weeks and the remainder up to week 52 will be unpaid.

It is the same for Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, but with 13 weeks of statutory maternity or adoption pay instead of 15, and no statutory pay, respectively.

In the Republic of Ireland, employees will be entitled to up to 42 weeks of partner leave, fully paid for the first 27 and the rest unpaid, staff in India will have up to 12 weeks of leave on full pay, and in Polish, employees will be able to take up to 20 weeks fully paid.

According to the group, this approach is an improvement on its current paternity leave policy and is the latest in a number of moves made as a champion of working families, which has been recognised by the UK’s Working Families Benchmark.

Alison Rose, group chief executive officer at Natwest, said: “The introduction of partner leave will make it possible for colleagues to spend more time supporting their partners who have given birth, had a child born through surrogacy or had a child placed through adoption. Not only is this good for families, it also helps support wider cultural change by promoting a shared approach to childcare responsibilities early on.”