What contractual pay is offered to mothers* on maternity leave?

We have implemented a new simplified approach with enhanced pay for all ‘family/parenting’ leave (maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental or parental) – this is up to 6 weeks full pay followed by 33 weeks half pay (ie a total of 22.5 weeks’ full pay a 12.5% increase on our old maternity/adoption package ).  Each employee can receive this as an enhancement to statutory pay whether they are taking statutory maternity, adoption, paternity or shared parental leave (or a combination of these).

NB this is enhanced pay is not contractual.

What contractual pay and leave is being offered to fathers/other parent who opt to take SPL?
Does contractual pay have to be repaid if the employees does not to return?  No
Will entitlement to SPL be reduced according to SML already taken? See above
Is your contractual Shared Parental Pay reduced by the number of weeks of SMP received by the mother? EY will enhance statutory pay for employees based on the number of weeks of statutory leave that individual takes.  This will be at 100% for weeks 1-6 of the individual’s leave and then 50% for up to a further 33 weeks regardless of how much leave their spouse has taken or intendeds to take.
Can SPL be taken from day one of employment? Employees must meet the statutory eligibility requirements for leave and pay and EY will enhance pay if you qualify for statutory pay ie 26 weeks service by the 15th week before the EWC
Is it tied to the date of the child’s birth? Yes as far as the statutory rules require but there are no additional restrictions linked to birth date.
Are there any limitations on how SPL can be taken ie minimum continuous block? Up to three blocks of leave can be taken  with the statutory minimum of 1 week
Do you incentivise certain patterns of leave? No
Do you offer a bonus on return from SPL if minimum period it taken? No

*or primary adopter

How are you communicating and encouraging people to take SPL?

New versions of the maternity, adoption, paternity, parental and flexible working policies (and a new SPL policy) have been published internally.  These have been promoted through our usual internal communications media.  Our HR Shared Service Centre has contacted and informed all our people due to give birth or adopt on or after 5 April and helped them with their specific questions.

Can you describe what wider cultural changes needed to support SPL are being implemented?

We have extended Career and Family coaching to all parents taking leave of longer than four months (this has been updated to provide greater focus on supporting men who take leave for childcare purposes). We recognise that the SPL is only a catalyst for change, as the provisions extend only to the first year of a child’s life, so our continued focus on creating an agile working environment, flexible working for all roles and achieving our aim of being  the most diverse and inclusive professional services firm is critical

What do you expect take up of SPL amongst fathers to be? Have you surveyed your employees about SPL and uptake?  Other surveys have shown that mothers may be unwilling to relinquish maternity leave: have you detected similar?

We consulted extensively with key stakeholders before deciding on our approach.  This included: HR; EY Voice, our forum of elected staff representatives; the EY Parents’ Network; our Diversity & Inclusiveness sponsors; and our People Leaders.

The EY parent’s Network surveyed their members (1,000 people) and found a significant majority in favour of the proposed changes.  We agree with the Working families findings that relatively few fathers will take SPL initially, thus our decision to offer 6 weeks at full pay, with no minimum period required, is pitched at a timeframe that is likely to seem ‘manageable’ to fathers and may incentivise more of them to take at least that time off.

Do you have any insight into how parents might like to take SPL? Which is best for your business in terms of planning?

We have no real insight yet.  Our business is project based and has sophisticated resourcing tools and operations.  We currently expect people to take secondments and other project roles during their career,  so we are encouraging the business to treat leave as similar BAU challenges requiring only the usual planning and transition support.