Staff will be entitled to the scheme if they have been continuously employed by the group for at least 52 weeks. Under the Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) regulations, women can take up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave and be paid for 39 of these weeks.
Vertu Motors’ maternity pay rate is 90% of its employees’ average weekly earnings for the first six weeks of leave. This is followed by SMP for the remaining paid 33 weeks, which is currently £151.97 per week.
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According to the business, the scheme will pay the first six months at a 90% rate of the member of staff’s average weekly earnings, followed by the remaining weeks at SMP level. This approach will see workers take home pay at a rate almost equivalent to its normal level, which will provide them with “substantially improved” financial support for the first six months of their leave.
Robert Forrester, chief executive of Vertu Motors, commented that the organisation is serious and passionate about attracting a more gender balanced retail sales workforce and supporting staff through their maternity leave, believing the scheme demonstrates a level of commitment in this area and will appeal to talent from outside the sector.
“This move to paying colleagues 90% of their average earnings for a full six months will significantly support colleagues and their families through the maternity leave period and avoid them having to make the usual material cuts to their spending when being paid SMP only,” he said.
Forrester added that this puts Vertu Motors’ maternity pay offering well ahead of most other retailers and “right up there” with best-in-class employers as it supports those on maternity leave.