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Hodge launches augmented paternity leave policy

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  • 17/06/2022
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Hodge launches augmented paternity leave policy
Hodge has introduced a paternity leave policy offering fathers or partners of those expecting a baby 20 weeks paid leave.

Hodge said it had improved its parental leave policy to add 18 weeks fully paid leave on top of the two weeks statutory paternity leave, meaning new parents now get a total of 20 weeks fully paid parental leave if they have had continuous service with Hodge for more than 26 weeks.

By law in the UK, mothers are entitled to 52 weeks’ maternity leave, with the first six paid at 90 per cent of salary and the remaining weeks at a minimum statutory rate, while fathers or partners of new mothers are entitled to just two weeks’ paternity leave at a minimum statutory rate.

At Hodge, new mothers and fathers are entitled to 20 weeks fully paid parental leave.

The lender said it made the move to improve its paternity leave policy to reflect how it wants to look after the wellbeing of its staff, and that it recognised how juggling work and new parenthood can be challenging for both partners.

Arron Rees (pictured with Nicky and baby Hazel), is Hodge’s IT service management and improvement lead. He was one of the first to take advantage of the policy. He took four months off to look after his newborn baby daughter Hazel.

Rees who has been with Hodge for five years, explained how it helped him and his new family.

He said: “When we had Hazel it took Nicky quite a while to recover as she had a difficult birth and having the parental leave there was fantastic, because I had so much more time to help Nicky and also deal with Hazel while she was still feeling quite poorly.

 

Creating a bond

It’s quite funny really because Nicky works in insurance, and I had better parental leave than she did after the baby was born. She had four-months full pay and I had five. I remember holding Hazel in my arms when she was two weeks old and just feeling so glad that I didn’t have to leave her and Nicky and go back to work then.”

Rees added: “Even now, Hodge has been really flexible with my working pattern and the hours that I work following my return. I feel very fortunate to have been there for Nicky, and in being able to create that bond with Hazel, and probably would have ended up having to take time off anyway on some other kind of basis.

 “I really underestimated how much of a change it would be, having a baby, it’s like a total life change. Having the extended paternity leave has helped made it feel more like a case of work adapting to fit our new life rather than the other way around.” 

Matt Burton, deputy chief executive of Hodge Bank who sponsored the improvements to the parental policy, said: “As a business we’re working towards true gender balance which means treating parents as equal parties when it comes to raising their family.”

“If we continue down the archaic road of giving maternity leave but just a couple of weeks paternity leave, then we reinforce the message that raising children is the job of mum, as dad is too vital to lose from the workforce. Both parents need and want to play a part in raising their kids, and both parents need to be supported by their employers so the transition out of and back into the workplace is a successful one.”

For more information about Hodge’s new paternity leave policy as well as its other employee benefits, please visit: https://hodgebank.co.uk/careers/?_ga=2.220942424.1197283595.1655463979-1036705184.1654527478

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