If you can’t do an Aviva what can you do?


We can’t possibly offer what Aviva is offering. We can’t offer all new parents 26 weeks leave on full pay.

Well, if you’re a big company you should seriously think about it. Why not follow Aviva and put your staff first? Why not get all that goodwill and appreciation? It spreads across the workforce, too, you know.

And even if you’re a small company, when you can afford to why not?

If offering fully paid shared parental leave isn’t viable though, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways that small businesses can offer support at little or no costs to working parents.


A positive message

Why don’t you highlight what your business is doing. Be upfront with your employees. You can communicate the reasons why you’re not able to offer fully paid shared parental leave but at the same time emphasise that you’re taking plenty of other steps to help staff. Employees really do appreciate communication.

The debate brought on by Aviva could present a great opportunity to introduce new initiatives. For parents, it’s rarely all about the money. Simple human actions like consistency, compassion and understanding go a long way in engendering engagement and loyalty.


Things you could do

Ideas could include:

  • Offering flexible working, reviewing job roles and advertising flexible jobs.
  • Appointing internal champions who can communicate your flexible and supportive culture.
  • Designing a policy for managers, which provides guidance on the best approach for supporting teams.
  • Setting up a parents’/carers’ network in your business for peer support, networking and sharing ideas for improvement.
  • Offering optional access to coaching and mentoring for parents.
  • Encouraging closer working between key functions to improve internal communications and consistency.


Time for a change

It’s really not that hard to offer family friendly measures, and when you do you will be popular with your employees.

That means you can retain talent more easily.

And that makes sense.

I would like to thank Ursula Tavender at Mumbelievable for all her valuable input into this article.

If you have any employment law issues please contact me on 02037971264.