Santander has become the first company in the UK to offer grandparental maternity leave to its 22,000 employees.
With the working age being stretched further and further it is now common for grandparents to be unable to help with childcare as they may work full time.
In answer to this common problem the bank have introduced the revolutionary new scheme to try to help families after the birth of a new baby – offering up to 16 weeks off for new grandparents.
It’s thought many more companies will follow Santander’s lead
The scheme will be offered on a shared basis, so that grandparents and new parents can choose to divvy up the childcare responsibilities between themselves. This means that after the compulsory two-week maternity leave for all mothers, a woman could take eight weeks off before going back and switching with her own mother, the baby’s grandmother, for the last eight weeks of the offered 16 weeks leave.
And the scheme isn’t just about women either. Santander employees will be able to work out how long each family member will take leave for and divide it between mums and dads as well as grandmothers and grandfathers.
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At the moment you’ll only be able to benefit if both the parents and grandparents of a new born work for Santander, but it’s thought that many more companies will follow suit – opening it up to a wider pool of employees across businesses in the UK.
Linda Rolph, general secretary of Santander’s union Advance, told MailOnline: ‘It is vital that today’s employers do all they can to enable their workforce to balance their commitments in and out of the workplace and it is very positive to see Santander leading the way in this area.’
The Government announced plans back in October to review the maternity leave process, saying that they planned to roll out grandparental leave UK-wide from 2018, but the proposals are still under consideration.