Insurance group QBE has updated its wellbeing and support benefits for UK employees as of this month, including an enhanced family-friendly leave policy.
Staff are now eligible for 26 weeks of leave at normal basic salary for both paternity and maternity leave, and can take up to 52 weeks of parental leave. QBE made these changes in order to equalise the amount of leave available to new parents, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation or how employees become a parent.
QBE also implemented several new wellbeing initiatives for its UK workforce, including increasing annual leave allowance to 30 days, and introducing digital health app Peppy to provide personalised expert support and resources on menopause, fertility and early parenthood.
The firm also expanded its private medical cover to include support with fertility investigations and treatment, menopause, gender dysphoria and assessment and early support for autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.
Emma Higgins, chief people officer at QBE Europe, said: “It’s been shown that offering extended paternity leave has wide-reaching benefits for co-parents themselves, their children, and employers who gain a more engaged and loyal workforce. This has a positive impact on gender equality beyond QBE and reflects the needs of dual career families, as time away from work to care for a child can be more equally split. This step reflects our goal of being a market-leading employer to attract and retain the best people.
“We have listened to what our employees have been telling us they want from an employer and many of the ideas behind the changes have been generated by our employee inclusion networks. These new benefits further enhance our offering, which also includes our high trust approach to hybrid working. While the changes we’ve announced apply to UK employees only at the moment, revamping our offering for colleagues outside of the UK is a core priority.”