Pub chain and brewer Greene King has enhanced its maternity leave policy and introduced a package of wrap-around support for both before and after leave, as of last week.
Salaried employees have been given 26 weeks of full pay plus 13 weeks of statutory maternity pay, and hourly team members have been entitled to 13 weeks at full pay, 13 at half pay, and 13 on statutory maternity pay.
The business, which employs 39,000 members of staff, stated that this would help those on maternity leave at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is starting to take hold.
Sign up to our newsletters
Receive news and guidance on a range of HR issues direct to your inbox
The additional support was designed to help women before they go on maternity leave as well as making the transition back into work easier. This includes guidance for line managers on how they can support staff before, during and after their maternity leave. In addition, employees will be able to work flexibly for the first eight weeks of their return to work, and access financial support.
According to the business, its employee-led inclusion group Greene Sky played an integral role in influencing this change and in the design and development of the policy, by conducting listening groups with team members across all parts of the business.
Andrew Bush, chief people and transformation officer at Greene King, said: “Our research showed that in 2020 only 53% of women returned to work for us following maternity leave. This stark figure showed us it was clear we needed to update our policy so women feel supported to be able to confidently choose the right time to start a family and for them to feel they can return to work at the right time for them, without feeling financially pressured to return.
“We’re continuing our journey of ‘Everyday Inclusion’, where we want to demonstrate that every person’s contribution is valued, and the new maternity leave policy and support package is a huge step forward and is now one of the strongest policies in the marketplace.”
Rachel Pescod, head of strategy at Greene King, said: “Greene King’s new maternity policy will allow me to spend the important early months with my new baby and return to work at the right time for me and my family. It takes some financial stress away amidst a wider cost-of-living crisis and it makes me proud to work for a company that cares for its team members.”