PensionBee Parental Leave Policy
Welcoming a new-bee to the family is a life changing moment and providing support for all new parents as they navigate this stage in their life journey is key. The aim of this policy is to address some of the challenges that face new parents, and support them in maintaining an engaging, and fulfilling career alongside their new responsibilities.
Our hope is to go some way towards removing the challenges facing new parents by;
- Providing the flexibility, and financial support required to adjust to new parenthood
- Assisting with the high cost of child-care that prevents many returning to work when they wish
- Maintaining a supportive working relationship that encourages new parents to stay connected
- Addressing some of the gender inequalities that continue to exist in our society
Who does the policy apply to?
Parenthood comes in many forms, and this policy applies to anyone taking on parental duties, regardless of their biological relationship to the new arrival. Please let your manager and the Head of Talent know with at least 3 months’ notice of the date you’re expecting a new arrival so they can guide you through.
All elements of the policy apply regardless of gender, and we encourage everyone to make full use of its features in creating a set up that works for them. For far too long men have been excluded from the parenting journey through societal expectations, and imbalanced policies. We believe that addressing this exclusion is one of the key factors in correcting some of the societal gender disparity still seen today.
You must have been employed with PensionBee for one year prior to the arrival date to make full use of the leave benefits, and two years to make full use of the childcare benefit (discretion will be used in the case of premature arrivals). Return to work benefits, and reduced leave benefits are available immediately for all new joiners along with any statutory leave or pay entitlements.
Leave Benefits (everyone):
We believe that everyone, regardless of gender, should have the opportunity to spend quality time bonding with their child. In order to encourage this, and remove any stigma, we’re taking a leaf out of Sweden’s approach to parental leave and introducing;
- 20 Parental Leave Days on full pay, which are mandatory for everyone and must be taken as a block after the arrival of your child.
Leave Benefits (1+ years’ service):
Flexibility is important, and it can be hard to predict how you’ll feel in advance, we’re therefore providing an additional allowance of Parental Leave Days which can be used from up to one month before the arrival date, and last for a two-year period. The allowance is made up of;
- 110 Parental Leave Days on full pay
- Pro Rata i.e. if you’re contracted on a 4-day week your allowance is 88
- These can be taken in blocks or used to reduce your working week on full pay
- One month’s notice, and approval, are required when booking to ensure consistency for the team
- See possible scenarios section for examples
Some parents may wish to stay at home with their child for longer than this period. If you’re using your entire allowance of Parental Leave Days as one block it’s possible to remain on leave, unpaid, for up to a further 6 months.
To help new parent’s stay connected, and feel supported, we’re also offering;
- The option to continue Happiness chats on your regular schedule whilst on leave
- The option to switch your Happiness manager to a fellow parent for some or all chats
- The option to continue attending Show & Tell as you wish, remotely, or in person
Return to Work Benefits (everyone):
Parenthood contains unpredictable surprises, special occasions, and in those precious first years new parents may need to take extra time off to be with their children. We’re therefore providing an additional allowance of Parental Duty Days which can be used on your return to work, and last for a two-year period. The allowance is made up of;
- 24 Parental Duty Days on full pay
- Pro Rata i.e. if you’re contracted on a 4-day week your allowance is 19
- These can be taken in blocks of up to 10 days or used to reduce your working week on full pay
- Thereafter, all parents of children under the age of 18 will receive an annual allowance of 5 Parental Duty Days for childcare emergencies or special occasions
- See possible scenarios section for examples
Returning to work can pose an additional challenge for breast-feeding mothers, we’re therefore planning breast pumping facilities in our new office, and a free breast pump for those requiring one. Please let the Talent Team know if you wish to receive this.
Childcare Benefits (2+ years’ service):
We believe that the high cost of childcare shouldn’t be a barrier to a new parent returning to work at the time they wish to. If your family set up requires external childcare for you to return to work, we will support you with childcare costs in the first and most difficult year;
*Maximum of up to £8000, paid in quarterly instalments of £2000, to Tax-Free Childcare Account.
- Quarterly payments start on return to work and finish 15 months after child’s arrival date.
- The payments are viewed as salary by HMRC so will be subject to income tax, employee and employer national insurance contributions and student loan deductions. Although a 25% top up from HMRC is added to the account to provide some tax relief.
- Government sets limitations on how the funds can be used. They must go towards a registered childcare provider and can only be used if both parents are at work
- Find out more information here: https://www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare
- See possible scenarios section for examples.
If it’s not possible for you to set up a Tax-Free Childcare Account, for example because you live abroad, the quarterly payments may be received to an alternative bank account, however the same conditions will apply.
Other Features (everyone):
Regardless of how much leave you take during that first year, some things will remain the same;
- Pension contributions, although if your pay reduces this will be reflected
- Holiday & Sick leave allowances
- End of Year Bonus
- Vesting of any options
- Job title and salary, if returning up to one year after arrival date
If, on your return to work, you wish to change your working pattern on a more permanent basis, you will need to put in a flexible working request to your manager and Head of Talent. All requests to change to a 4- or 3-day working week on reduced pay will be considered.
Please note: there are no repayment conditions if you do not return to work following a period of parental leave.
The idea of this policy is to give each new parent the flexibility to organise their leave in a way which works for them. However, some possible scenarios are below to provide a background to how each type of parental leave day might help you create a schedule that works.
- Reduce to 4 day week for 4 weeks on full pay (4 PLD days)
- Then take 3 months on full pay (65 PLD days)
- Return to work on 4 day week for approx. 18 months on full pay (61 PLD, 24 PDD)
- Receive four quarterly payments of £2000, total £8000
- After tax deductions and a 25% top up from HMRC, this will total approximately £4,000 - £6,000 depending on your tax rate and whether you have a student loan
- Based on hiring a Nanny for 4 days a week at a cost of approximately £500 per week, this payment would halve your childcare costs for 16 – 24 weeks
- Take 6 months on full pay (130 PLD days)
- Remain off work on unpaid parental leave for a further 6 months
- Return to work on 3 day week for approx. 3 months on full pay (24 PDD)
- Then put in a flexi-request to stay on a 3-4 day working week on reduced pay
- Receive one quarterly payment of £2000
- After tax deductions and a 25% top up from HMRC, this will total approximately £1,000 - £1,500 depending on your tax rate and whether you have a student loan
- Based on using a London nursery for 3 days a week at a cost of approximately £175 per week, this payment would halve your childcare costs for 12 – 17 weeks
- Take mandatory 4 weeks leave (20 PLD)
- Return to work on 3 day week for approx. 3 months on full pay (24 PLD)
- Increase to a 4 day week for remaining allowance period approx. 20 months on full pay (84 PLD)
- Take 6 one week blocks of fully paid leave spread over 2 years to be with your family (24 PDD)
- If you have a partner at home, or other childcare arrangements with friends/family, it’s not possible to receive the childcare benefit on offer.
This policy is in effect for 2019/2020 and will be reviewed annually.