Real estate giant British Land has announced it is upping shared parental leave (SPL) for employees, providing parents with equal benefits in terms of pay following the birth, or adoption, of a child.
British Land said the approach will allow more parents to enjoy the benefits of SPL, as it goes "above and beyond" statutory requirements.
New rights allowing UK parents to share leave following the birth or adoption of their child came into effect in April 2015, where up to 50 weeks of leave (37 of which are paid) can be shared by parents if they meet certain eligibility criteria.
Last year though, a survey of over 1,000 parents and 200 firms by My Family Care and the Women's Business Council found that just one in 100 men were applying for SPL. Reasons for the reluctance included it being "financially unworkable", a lack of awareness, and women being unwilling to share their maternity leave.
Under the system brought in by British Land from today, all employees taking SPL will be paid at the same rate as enhanced parental pay throughout the period involved.
Chris Grigg, chief executive of British Land, said:
The decision to update our shared parental leave policy to benefit men and women equally is a big step forward for British Land, providing parents who work for us more choice and flexibility than before.
It allows women to return to work earlier if they wish, and for their partners to be more involved in caring for their child in its first year.
The commercial property firm, which announced it was selling the Cheesegrater to C C Land for £1.15bn last week, was named one of the FTSE 100's top 10 transparent firms by consultancy firm Radley Yeldar in November.
It compiled 16 criteria to assess annual reports grouped into "understanding the business and context" as well as explaining and measuring performance. Arm was top, followed by Fresnillo and Land Securities, while British Land was sixth.