A Nigerian commercial bank, Access Bank Plc, has introduced a parental leave policy that extends paid benefits to all mothers and fathers.
According to a statement by the bank’s Head, Group Human Resources, Bolaji Agbede, the newly introduced parental leave policy allows parents to truly bond with their new child, balance their work schedule and help reduce conflict with parental obligations.
She said: “The policy which is designed to foster an inclusive workplace, offers paid leave to all new parents at the bank including mothers and fathers, as well as adoptive and surrogate parents.
“The new policy which is the first by a Nigerian bank, offers one week fully paid paternity leave to male employees and allows them to care for their offspring and spend some quality time with the new addition to their family while supporting the new mother who needs the break.
“Also included in the new policy is a surrogacy or adoptive leave with full pay for 3 calendar months for female employees of the bank.
“These benefits supplement the 12 weeks of paid leave Access Bank currently provides to birth mothers. The policy also complements the bank’s existing health and flexible workplace benefits, which support work-life balance.
“Studies have shown that fathers who take paternity leave are more likely to take an active role in child care tasks and will continue to play this role long after the period of leave has ended. It is important for the new father to take time off as it helps all parents, regardless of family structure. This new policy is an evidence of the bank’s support to employees during this wonderful but challenging time in their lives.
“Furthermore, a pregnant employee who has been in the bank’s employment for 12 consecutive months also has the option of 6 calendar months maternity leave with two-thirds of full month pay, while the surrogacy or adoptive leave period is 3 calendar months with full pay or 6 calendar months leave with two-thirds of full month pay.”
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