Bank of Ireland has today launched a new policy which triples the bank’s current paid paternity leave from two to six weeks and is open to all employees.
Under the new policy, an employee whose partner is having a baby, adopts a child or becomes a parent through surrogacy, or who is the parent of a donor-conceived child, will have the flexibility to take six weeks of paid leave within the first six months of the child's life.
As well as the father of the child, the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the mother of the child is also considered a relevant parent.
Bank of Ireland has introduced the new policy to recognise the need for a relevant parent to bond with their newborn or newly placed child in circumstances where they are not entitled to adoptive or maternity leave.
"Increased paternity leave can have a significant impact on both the personal and financial wellbeing of colleagues and their families, and can promote parent-child bonding, improve outcomes for children and increase gender equity at home and at the workplace," the bank said.
Family is hugely important.
Matt Elliott, Bank of Ireland's chief people officer, said: “Family is hugely important. We want to help our colleagues make the most of their important life milestones while also creating a more supportive and inclusive culture within the Bank. This improved policy offers new parents more time to prioritise their family responsibilities with a greater balance between work and family life. And we are committed to making further improvements to it over time.
“This is part of a series of family friendly improvements we are implementing. Our aim is to create a more inclusive approach to all types of family leave, recognising the varying needs of the modern family in all its guises. We will continue to examine ways that we can improve and enhance what it is like to work at Bank of Ireland for all 9,000 of our colleagues.”
Other policy initiatives launched by Bank of Ireland include fertility leave and supports, menopause supports, a surrogacy support policy, and the recently added domestic abuse policy, where the bank provides both financial and non-financial support to colleagues who experience domestic abuse.
Bank of Ireland has also made all of its family leave policies “day-one” entitlements for colleagues, meaning they are eligible from the first day of employment.