SINGAPORE: All full-time Singapore-based Aviva employees will be now be entitled to 16 weeks of paid parental leave, the insurance company announced on Friday (Nov 24).
In a news release, Aviva said the new parental leave policy offers equal paternity and maternity leave for every parent when a new child arrives, with no limit on the number of new children.
If both parents are employees of Aviva, they will each have their own entitlement to leave and pay which they can take at the same time.
The policy, which covers both birth and adoption, will also be extended to all employees regardless of gender, nationality, sexual orientation and marital status, Aviva said.
Aviva added that employees welcoming a new child twice within a year are entitled to 16 weeks of parental leave each time, which can be utilised within a year of the arrival of each child.
Aviva said the new parental leave policy is part of a group-wide initiative and will be rolled out in Singapore, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Canada, with plans to extend it to other Aviva markets within the next year.
The new policy is in addition to other existing parental leave arrangements at Aviva, such as the shared parental leave, childcare leave, extended childcare leave and new infant care leave.
Aviva Group CEO Mark Wilson said: “I want to live in a world where the only criterion for success is someone’s talent, not their gender. Treating parents equally will help make this happen. We want Aviva to be a progressive, inclusive, welcoming place to work. It’s good for our people and it’s also good business sense.”
Aviva’s announcement follows a similar one by Ikea in September. The Swedish furniture company announced it was granting four weeks of paid paternity leave for new fathers. This is double the two weeks’ paid paternity leave entitlement of other new fathers in Singapore.
In November 2016, changes to the Child Development Co-Savings Act were passed in Parliament, granting new fathers two weeks of Government-paid paternity leave, with unwed mothers getting 16 weeks of maternity leave, up from eight weeks.