Equal parental leave: levelling the playing field


In 2017, Aviva announced it would offer equal parental leave to all employees across UK and international markets, on the arrival of a child. The policy provides all new parents regardless of gender, sexual orientation or how they become a parent – by birth, adoption or surrogacy – an entitlement to 12 months of leave, including six months at full pay when a new child arrives.

All UK employees are eligible, irrespective of length of service or earnings, full-time or part-time. If both parents are employees of Aviva, they each have their own entitlement to leave and pay, which they can take at the same time.

Aviva’s strategy is to create a diverse and inclusive working culture in which barriers to career progression are removed, demonstrating a commitment to levelling the playing field for men and women, enabling dads – as well as mums – to spend time with families at this important stage.

Aviva wanted to create a sense of pride amongst its employees through actions, not words. By introducing a truly progressive policy, the company underlined its commitment and care to its employees, while setting an example and encouraging other businesses to follow suit.

The initiative has been incredibly well received by Aviva employees, with more than 400 people, including more than 150 men, taking up the policy within the first seven months.

‘We want to create an environment where everyone feels equal and valued for their contribution. We know that our people have lives outside of work, so they should know they can take time out and still have a successful career, regardless of gender.’
Caroline Prendergast, Interim Chief People Officer, Aviva

‘Aviva’s parental leave policy has been hugely valuable to me and my family. For my wife and I to both be able to spend six months with our children, without worrying about the financial consequences, has allowed us to simply enjoy being together as a family and share the responsibilities together.’
Alasdair Cook, Claims Manager, Aviva