Thorntons enhances inclusive family-friendly policies

Law firm Thorntons has rolled out enhanced and inclusive family-friendly policies to support its more than 580 staff and partners.

New mothers at the firm will receive treble the existing maternity pay, which will rise to 26 weeks at full pay and 13 weeks at half pay. Those adopting a child will receive the same benefits.

Co-parents will receive 12 weeks of paid shared parental leave, which replaces the standard approach of two weeks following a birth or adoption, to reflect co-parenting needs and deliver greater equity across parental roles.

In addition, Thorntons has introduced a new 12-week phased return option for anyone returning from maternity or adoption leave. The arrangements enable employees to work 50% of their time over a 12-week period, while receiving full salary to ensure a smooth transition back to the workplace.

It has also implemented new paid leave entitlement for assisted conception and IVF treatment, as well as increased paid leave to support those who experience miscarriage and parental bereavement.

Prior to introducing its new policies, Thorntons undertook research into family-friendly approaches, including benchmarking, across the legal sector and a wider review of best practice among UK businesses. Its approach is part of its ambition to remove barriers for those with family and caring responsibilities.

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Dr Susan Hetrick, director of people at Thorntons, said: “Introducing our family friendly policies is the first step in ensuring we support our colleagues during their working lives in the moments that matter and strengthen our already inclusive workplace. Our new shared parental leave policy is motivated by a desire to remove gender inequalities faced by working parents and encourage shared parenting.

“We know that this will encourage mothers or primary carers and their respective partners to play their part in the care of their child in the first year after birth, while maintaining a good connection with the workplace. Offering a supportive culture enables our people to thrive and produce their best work.”