We don’t believe parental policies should be kept to ourselves … so now that we’ve updated them, we’re proud to share our approach
At Hope&Glory we’ve always felt pretty strongly about openly sharing our parental policies, which is why we published them on our website back in 2018.
That was a move to allow both current team-mates or someone interviewing for a role at the agency to easily see what we offer without having to ask.
There shouldn’t be any stigma around asking questions to do with either parental leave, miscarriage, fertility policies or how we support women in mid-life through the menopause. But, sadly there still is. And that’s a shame.
Ten years in to running Hope&Glory, we’re now enhancing and extending the policies we have to support parents across the agency.
So, yet again, we’ve taken the decision to publish these on our website so everyone can see at a glance what we offer. We are of course happy to answer any questions on our policies and to broach any discussion with members of our team.
We’ve also added a Menopause Policy having developed it over recent months to ensure that we are supportive of our team throughout the course of their careers.
So here goes…
We’re proud to offer the same maternity package to all our female employees irrespective of their level.
We’ve recently enhanced it, effective from September 2021.
It pays salary in full for the first 16 weeks of leave, and then pays 50% of salary for the next 8 weeks before moving to statutory maternity pay up to week 39, and then unpaid for the final 12 weeks if someone takes a full year off (which we actively encourage).
And, while we’ll be sad to lose people if they decide they don’t want to come back to work, we won’t insist that any monies be repaid.
Our enhanced maternity pay package kicks in if women have been employed with Hope&Glory for at least 37 weeks at the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. Statutory Maternity Pay is paid if they’ve been with us at least 26 weeks at the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth.
Ante-natal classes, mid-wife or Doctor appointments are all covered as paid time off and can be taken during the working day.
We also offer paid paternity leave if you have been with us for at least three months before the due date of your child. Every new father is eligible for an enhanced four weeks of paid continuous leave around the birth of their child, which needs to be taken within 56 days of the baby’s arrival.
We also offer time off during the working day to cover hospital appointments and antenatal classes with your partner. Additionally, holiday can be added to the month’s paid paternity leave but we may ask that it’s taken in two phases.
Our adoption policy provides salary in full for the first 16 weeks of leave, and then pays 50% of salary for the next 8 weeks before moving to statutory pay up to week 39, and then unpaid for the final 12 weeks if someone takes a full year off (which we actively encourage).
To be eligible you need to have worked with us for 26 weeks ahead of the adoption taking place.
Once again, while we’ll be sad to lose people if they decide they don’t want to come back to work after adoption leave, we won’t insist that any monies be repaid.
Parenting classes and appointments are all covered as paid time off and can be taken during the working day.
We also offer enhanced paternity pay for those adopting should your partner be taking full adoption leave from their employer as full adoption leave is only available to one parent per couple.
Additionally, we also offer surrogacy leave, which works very similarly to adoption leave – we’re happy to provide more details if anyone asks.
Shared Parental Leave
We offer shared parental leave which we’re happy to discuss in more detail if this is something you wish to explore. It’s fiendishly complicated which is why we haven’t attempted to summarise it here, but please know we’re hugely supportive of the idea of sharing time off.
Enhanced Compassionate Leave
We have expanded our compassionate leave policy to two weeks per year should a member of the team need time off – for any reason – to grieve.
We will never ask the question but please be assured that this also covers any type of pregnancy loss whether that’s a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy, failed IVF, failed surrogacy or a termination. We would actively encourage you to take the time you need to heal.
In the case of pregnancy loss, paid time off is available to either partner.
Our Employee Assist Programme is also there as support and we’ll cover time off for further medical appointments or counselling.
If you’re planning to undergo fertility treatment while working at Hope&Glory, we will endeavor to do all we can to ensure that work doesn’t get in the way of a successful outcome.
We offer a £10,000 interest-free loan to members of the team that have been with us longer than 12 months who might need some financial assistance, which is then paid back via a phased payment plan.
Additionally, we are happy to offer reduced working days or hours (paid pro-rata) in the run up to any fertility treatment and will work with you to minimize stress during this time in the shape of a smaller client portfolio if required.
We’ll also cover time off for hospital appointments and medical treatments as required that happen during the working day.
We appreciate this can be a long journey, with many twists and turns along the way and we are there to support as much as we can.
If you’ve been working at Hope&Glory for over a year and are a parent, you can apply for unpaid parental leave if your child is under 18. This might be to help a child settle into nursery or to manage a change in schools, or potentially to support around exams.
Parental leave is unpaid. By law, you’re entitled to 18 weeks’ leave for each child and adopted child, up to their 18th birthday.
The limit on how much parental leave each parent can take in a year is usually 4 weeks for each child (unless we agree otherwise). You must take parental leave as whole weeks (eg 1 week or 2 weeks) rather than individual days and you don’t have to take the leave all at once.
A ‘week’ equals the length of time you normally work over 7 days – eg a 3 day week would be 3 days off and so forth. Ideally, we ask for a minimum three weeks’ notice when applying for parental leave.
Our Menopause Policy
The menopause and perimenopause impacts some 50% of the population but is very rarely talked about. Symptoms are individual but include fatigue and insomnia, hot flushes, difficulty concentrating, memory recall, anxiety and worry. The biggest issue facing women is that these symptoms are often misdiagnosed as other conditions such as depression.
At Hope&Glory we will offer you a fully-paid initial consultation with a private Menopause specialist should your local GP be unable to help. This consultation will include blood-tests and other diagnostic tests that will advise on hormone levels and outline possible treatments.
We also offer the option to move to a 4-day week pro-rata for an agreed period of time to help you manage this life change, as well as provide access to the Employee Assist Helpline and paid time off if there’s a sudden onset of symptoms while at work [up to an additional two weeks sick-leave available].
The above are the edited highlights, but we’d be more than happy to share the longer-form policies if you’re interested in finding out more.
If you’re coming in for an interview, please don’t be bashful about asking questions.
We also hope that by sharing our policies we might just nudge agency management elsewhere to think about whether they are doing all they can to support parents too. It feels that it’s about time we talked about this stuff more openly.