Santander UK has updated its family leave policy and enhanced provisions for foster carers at work.
From this month (July), the bank is offering employees up to five days, or 35 hours, of fully paid leave to attend appointments relating to a fostering application, which could include training courses, introductory meetings and interviews.
The improved policy was developed with The Fostering Network and has also led to the company achieving Foster Friendly Employer status.
Juan Ignacio Echeverria, Santander UK’s chief people officer, said: “Good fostering is extremely important. Statistics show that outcomes for children in care are lower than their peers. We as an employer consider it vital that we do our best to support those who are managing fostering responsibilities alongside their everyday roles.
“By offering colleagues wanting to apply to be foster carers up to 35 hours of paid leave to attend pre-fostering appointments, we hope to make it easier for them to balance this important role with their day job. We are very proud to be recognised as a Fostering Friendly Employer by The Fostering Network.”
The bank, which has around 19,000 employees in the UK, also provides a host of other benefits to support families. This includes five weeks of paternity leave, three of which are on full pay with two weeks on the statutory rate, as well as up to 18 weeks of unpaid parental leave for staff who have been with the company for at least a year.
In terms of bereavement leave, Santander UK provides 10 days on full pay in the event of the death of a dependant, close family member or close friend. If a baby is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy or a child of any age dies, parents or primary carers will be entitled to two weeks of fully paid leave, as well as additional bereavement support.