In the week that we celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, we're delighted to be rolling out our new and enhanced Maternity and Paternity policies.
In the week that we celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, it feels fitting to be rolling out our new and enhanced Maternity and Paternity policies.
We recognise that not only is having and raising children a privilege, but it is also challenging, with financial implications for both women and men. We wanted to launch a set of policies that can help support individuals in this life-changing time.
With some research, we realised that a lot of the industry is only offering statutory pay. Whilst we are only a small company, we wanted to go further and to be amongst the most competitive in the digital agency sector, to provide the best that we can to enable our team to succeed both in work and home life.
To get firsthand perspectives, we connected with other agency leaders, and sought out the policies in agencies much larger than ourselves, exploring experiences and best practices. We were pleased to find so much openness to sharing advice and contributing to the conversation.
Launching our new policies
After much research and refinement, we were pleased to launch a new Maternity policy that we can be proud of. Any pregnant employee, regardless of how long they’ve been at Graphite, will receive considerably above Statutory Maternity payment, with a minimum of 6 weeks being fully paid before rolling into further extended pay, and for every year of tenure up to three years, the individual is eligible for even greater provision.
In the interest of equality, we’ve also extended our Paternity policy in recognition of the extra responsibilities and support families need in the early days. A common criticism of paternity policies is that they’re inflexible, stipulating that the time must be taken straight after birth. We wanted to create a less rigid option, meaning those who are eligible can take up to 4 weeks fully paid leave, but at any point in the first 6 months.
Adoption follows the same payment and entitlements as maternity, and we’ve provided extra time off in the case of early miscarriage. Additionally, we strive to create a culture of trust, respect and autonomy across our teams that allows people to use their time flexibly to care for their families and meet personal commitments in a completely guilt and judgement free way.
Only a few years ago, the Graphite team had been predominantly male. As of 2022, we’re proud to have a team that is 63% female, and thriving. As such, we’re reviewing our policies to ensure they equally support and empower our entire agency. We’re not perfect, and are learning as we go, but are 100% committed to creating an inclusive environment that allows everyone to succeed.