FSCS to offer additional time off for staff with premature babies
Scheme becomes an ‘Employer with Heart’ and achieves The Smallest Things Best Employer Charter Mark
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has updated its generous family leave provisions this month to become an ‘Employer with Heart’ and has achieved The Smallest Things Best Employer Charter Mark for employers who support premature babies and their families.
Under current law, maternity/paternity leave begins the day after birth, regardless of whether the baby is premature. FSCS is taking the progressive step of launching this initiative to demonstrate its commitment to providing the best support for its employees.
In November 2018 FSCS launched its new strategy: FSCS into the 2020s – Protecting the Future. David Blackburn, Chief People Officer says: “We know that to deliver our strategy we need a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone can succeed in achieving his or her personal and professional goals.
“We pride ourselves on the level of support and compassionate understanding we provide for our employees. We appreciate that it can be an extremely difficult and worrying time for those who experience premature labour and family is of the upmost importance.”
FSCS believes that parents facing the worry and uncertainty of visiting their premature baby in hospital should not spend that time as maternity or paternity leave. So, from April 2019 FSCS will extend maternity leave for mothers who give birth prematurely by the number of days a baby was born prior to their due date on full pay.
In addition, FSCS has doubled the entitlement to paid paternity leave from two weeks to four weeks with the same flexibility to support parents of premature babies.
FSCS is backing the charity ‘The Smallest Things’ which campaigns for extended maternity and paternity leave for parents of premature babies across all companies.
Catriona Ogilvy, founder of The Smallest Things, says: “We are delighted that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme has signed up to our Employer with Heart charter and will give parents of babies born prematurely the extra time they need. Visiting a fragile baby on a neonatal unit for weeks, sometimes months, is terrifying and shouldn't be counted as maternity or paternity leave. Bringing your baby home can be difficult too, as often there are ongoing medical issues and concerns about development and immunity. This extra time will give parents more chance to bond with their babies, take care of them at home for longer and recover from the trauma themselves.”
FSCS is the UK’s compensation scheme for financial services, helping people get back on track by protecting them when authorised financial services firms fail. It is independent, and covers a range of regulated financial services in the UK. The Scheme is unique internationally for the scope of the protection it provides. Since its launch in 2001 it has come to the aid of millions of people and paid out billions in compensation.
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