Focus on Inclusion and Supporting Colleagues In Navigating Life’s Ups and Downs
National law firm Irwin Mitchell has announced a raft of new changes to its family leave policy, designed to further improve wellbeing for colleagues, including enhancements to paternity and parental leave.
In a boost to the family leave policy, colleagues can now take four weeks’ paid paternity leave, giving them more time to spend with their families at one of the most important times in the life of any new parent.
This change is in addition to existing holiday entitlements and represents a doubling of two week statutory paternity leave, and is available to all, regardless of length of service.
Further changes announced include removing the time limit for colleagues undertaking fertility treatment; plus the flexibility to take parental leave as single days, rather than in one block.
The limit for group enhanced adoption, maternity and shared parental pay has also been removed, so colleagues can take advantage of these benefits from the first day they join.
Shared Parental Leave pay has been improved to be in line with current enhanced Maternity and Adoption pay, while those fostering can take advantage of five days additional leave.
The opportunity has also been taken to further develop parental bereavement leave policy, to support colleagues through loss of a child regardless of age and miscarriage.
The changes come into effect from 1 July and are part of a range of new responsible business measures introduced by the firm and complement the ‘Flexible by Choice’ approach to work announced in April.
The limit for those wishing to work flexibly has been removed, giving everyone the right to request flexible working from day one, allowing colleagues (subject to their role and client work being completed effectively) to decide where and when they chose to work.
Expert Opinion“Creating an environment where everyone can thrive is at the heart of our commitment to colleagues.
“These new family friendly policies come in response to feedback about what our people need and recognise the vital importance colleague wellbeing plays in the overall success of the firm.
“As more of us work from home, this was an opportunity to enhance our policies to improve work-life balance and extend flexible working to offer greater choice and inclusion in everything, from maternity and paternity leave, through to fertility treatment and fostering.
“In listening to colleagues and updating our approach, we are giving them the tools they need to perform their roles and trusting them to make the choices that will deliver the best results for their families, our clients and the communities in which we all live and work.
“In exceeding statutory allowances, we are continually improving how it feels to work at Irwin Mitchell. These positive changes deliver equal treatment for all and provide our colleagues the very best working conditions and also allow us to attract the best talent in the legal profession.” Susana Berlevy - Group Chief People Officer
Irwin Mitchell’s responsible business drive has seen the firm switch to a more digital ways of working. All colleagues now have laptops and to further protect colleague wellbeing, steps have been taken to change internal meeting times and reduce ‘video call fatigue’.