Bank of Ireland has implemented enhanced family friendly policies and support for its 9,000 employees, as of this week.
The initiatives will be applicable to all workers based in Ireland, UK, the European Union (EU) and the US, in line with local legislation. They aim to help create a more supportive and inclusive environment for staff at different life stages.
The benefits include a seven week top up of parental leave in the first two years for staff in Ireland, a seven week top up of shared parental leave, which is seven paid weeks, in the first year for UK employees, 13 weeks of paid leave for partners when coupled with paternity leave enhancements adopted in 2022, five days of paid foster care leave, and 10 days of leave for staff undergoing fertility treatments.
The Bank of Ireland also introduced 26 weeks of paid surrogacy leave that matches adoptive leave entitlements, 15 days of paid early pregnancy leave for the loss of a baby under 24 weeks’ gestation available to all members of staff, and extended breastfeeding breaks for parents with a child up to two years of age. The bank also made all family leave policies day-one entitlements, and launched a Family Matters Handbook, illustrating key supports and benefits available depending on the employee’s journey.
According to the employer, it reviewed its existing HR policies to identify new benefits that would best support its workforce. The initiatives complement existing ones that were introduced last year, which included a domestic abuse policy, menopause leave and improved paternity leave.
Myles O’Grady, group chief executive officer at Bank of Ireland, said: “We want to build a progressive workplace and contribute to a progressive society. This is also important for our business which competes hard to attract and retain the talent we need to serve our customers, support growing businesses, and also grow as an organisation.
“We constantly challenge ourselves to foster a work environment where employees are treated with fairness and flexibility. There is no one-size-fits-all for families, so our people policies aim to support a range of scenarios, including when staff face very challenging circumstances. A key part of this is supporting them throughout their careers and the milestones in their lives, like becoming a parent or a carer.”