Funding Circle introduces parental buddy scheme

Funding CircleSmall business loan platform Funding Circle has launched a parental buddy scheme to support  employees with children.

The initiative aims to support any of its 600 members of staff preparing for, taking or returning from parental leave by providing them with access to a buddy. The buddies will be other employees who have first-hand experience of becoming a parent, can discuss the transition to the dual role of parent and employee, and will act as a sounding board in addition to line manager support.

It was launched by Parents@FC, which is one of the platform’s five diversity, equity and inclusion groups, focused on providing a safe space and a network for parents, in response to employee feedback.

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The initiative was formulated as employees were found to want support on topics including lines of communication with managers before, during and after parental leave, challenges during pregnancy, specific challenges for expectant and new parents, managing the competing demands of being a working parent, and childcare.

The business also offers enhanced maternity pay, partner leave and adoption leave, as well as compassionate leave for parental bereavement and fertility treatments. This is part of its commitment to building a diverse and inclusive team where workers’ skills, personalities and personal circumstances complement each other.

Victoria Bradford, people director at Funding Circle, said: “Funding Circle is a mission-led business and our people and our culture are among our most important assets. As a first-time parent, I remember having so much to look forward to, but also being mindful about how I would juggle parenting with my professional life.

“We want to make sure that our Circlers who are preparing for, taking, or returning from parental leave have as much support around them as possible and our Parental Buddy Scheme will play a vital role in this.”