West Midlands Fire Service increases maternity, paternity and adoption leave

West Midlands Fire Service
Credit: dagma / Shutterstock.com

West Midlands Fire Service is to increase its employee maternity, paternity and adoption leave provisions as of this month.

Employees at the fire service will be eligible for 52 weeks of fully paid leave for maternity and adoption pay, with two weeks of paternity pay for fathers. This is a significant increase on its previous provision.

These changes are part of a broader programme to improve employees’ work-life balance and the fire service will continue to focus on how it can best support its people.

The changes are also a result of the Fire Brigades Union’s Fight for 52 Campaign, which aims to address imbalances in maternity provision across the UK. It wants to see all UK fire employers extend maternity leave to 12 months on full pay after the birth, while also addressing pre-birth provisions for expectant mothers.

Wayne Brown, chief fire officer at West Midlands Fire Service, said: “It would be easy to just focus on how we continually improve our prevention, protection and response work, but what sits behind that is our staff. The better we look after them, the better they can serve our communities. Our people are our most important asset as a service dedicated to making the West Midlands safer, stronger and healthier and an important way to do that is to ensure our staff have the right time with their families at these special and formative times.

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“We were extremely proud of our award of the UK’s most inclusive employer last year and pledged that we would not rest on our laurels: that we would look at how we can continue to be sector leaders in the support we offer to our staff. These proposals, which will now be consulted on with staff and trade unions, further embed our commitment to continuous improvement across the service.”

West Midlands Fire Service also offers employees an on-site gym, retail discounts, occupational health support, physiotherapy, pre-retirement courses, 22 days of annual leave and a pension scheme.