Shoosmiths is extending its range of family-friendly provisions from 1 September.
The law firm, which has 1,500-plus employees across 14 UK locations, will be enhancing its leave package for co-parents while making it gender-neutral, offering eligible staff up to 12 weeks on full pay to replace its current provision of two weeks’ fully paid paternity leave.
The time off must be taken in the first 12 months after the birth or adoption of a child. It can be taken in a maximum of two blocks and merged with shared parental leave, potentially enabling eligible parents to take up to 26 weeks of leave on full pay.
Shoosmiths is also partnering with Apricity fertility clinics to provide guidance and treatment for employees and partners and give them access free consultations and discounts on treatments.
The enhancements complement the firm’s existing policies that support ‘Pathways to Parenthood’. This includes enhanced adoption, maternity and shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks at full pay and up to five days of paid leave per cycle for those undergoing treatment, or two fully paid days off in a 12-month period for partners of those undergoing treatment or those using a surrogate.
Staff who are named main adopters also benefit from adoption leave for up to five appointments, while all employees impacted by pregnancy loss before 24 weeks, including partners and those using a surrogate, are entitled to up to 10 days of fully paid leave, regardless of length of service.
In September, Shoosmiths is also introducing fully funded access to backup care which covers children, adults and pets, through a partnership with Bright Horizons. Every staff member can take up to five days off every year when their care arrangements fall through.
Employees will be able to join a Work & Family Space portal, which can be personalised according to their circumstances, providing access to a variety of relevant resources, as well as offers and discounts.
Eleanor Tanner, director of people at Shoosmiths, said: “We recognise that our people make our firm what it is – they strive for excellence and deliver that to clients. So, what matters to us is that we do what we can to support them at every stage of their lives.
“By introducing these policies, we are strengthening our overall employee proposition for the benefit of our colleagues and for our future joiners. It is sending a message to the market that if the best talent wishes to join Shoosmiths they will be supported with a generous policy package which has also been developed with inclusivity in mind as part of the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
“We have been able to make these enhancements because of the firm’s overall growth, with the Board choosing to make investments in people as part of the firm’s overall strategy, and we’re looking forward to seeing these policies in practice in September.”