The move will allow new parents who make use of the new Shared Parental Leave legislation to receive up to 100 per cent of their salary over 52 weeks. Shared Parental Leave came into force in the UK on April 5th, 2015. It’s available to working parents in the first year following the birth or adoption of a child, and gives parents more flexibility to share childcare responsibilities. The policy means that both parents are able to share a pot of leave – they can take it in turns to take leave to look after their child, or take shared parental leave at the same time.

As part of its benefits package, Virgin Management – the investment and brand licensing office at the heart of the Virgin Group – will allow parents, including adoptive parents and irrespective of gender, to receive up to 100 per cent of their basic salary over the 52 week period of shared parental leave. The pay is service-related, from 25 per cent for those with fewer than two years’ service, up to 100 per cent for those with more than four years’ service.

“We pride ourselves on our family-friendly and home/work life policies – from parental leave and unlimited leave to flexible working,” Josh Bayliss, CEO at Virgin Management said.

“The introduction of the new Shared Parental Leave legislation was a great opportunity for us to review our existing maternity, paternity and adoption benefits, and offer something special to our people.

“This is a ground-breaking move from Virgin Management, which demonstrates that the health and wellbeing of our people is at our core. Having a child is a life-changing experience and this policy means our employees have the opportunity to enjoy time with their families and have a great career.”

Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, added: “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business.”

“As a father and now a granddad to three wonderful grandchildren, I know how magical the first year of a child’s life is but also how much hard work it takes. I’m delighted that we can offer this support to our staff so that they can enjoy parental leave to the full as we continue our work in changing business for good.”

Virgin Management’s new policy is part of a range of people initiatives offered to ensure health, wellbeing and happiness in the workplace, for more on this topic check out the  latest Virgin Disruptors debate on employee wellbeing.

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