first_imgRenewable energy supplier Pure Planet has equalised its maternity and paternity benefits, enabling both mothers and fathers to take up to 52 weeks of leave to care for a new child at an enhanced pay rate.Pure Planet has been operational for just over six months. It previously had statutory parental leave benefits in place while developing its new policy.Statutory maternity leave enables eligible mothers to take up to 52 weeks of leave to care for a newborn, and statutory maternity pay lasts for the first 39 weeks. The initial 6 weeks are paid at 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings (AWE), and the remainder at £145.18, or 90% of the employee’s AWE, depending on which is lower. Statutory paternity leave allows eligible fathers to take up to two weeks of consecutive leave, paid at the same rate of either £145.18, or 90% of their AWE.The new parental leave benefit, effective from April 2018, is applicable to all of the organisation’s 30 employees. This includes male and female staff who have a child by birth, surrogacy or adoption.Pure Planet’s new policy allows employees to receive a set amount of leave at full pay, which is then gradually reduced over the duration of the leave period. The enhanced parental leave pay is higher than the statutory pay rates.Steven Day (pictured), co-founder at Pure Planet, said: “Genuinely treating people equally is fundamental. But we are only one of a small number of businesses to offer this benefit in the UK. We hope by doing so we can encourage the type of cultural change that is needed when it comes to parental leave. And we’ll continue to explore other ways to improve as an employer.“Pure Planet is a modern, progressive [organisation] which prides itself on providing clean, affordable energy; we want to create a better world for our children. It’s natural that we would want our team to enjoy equal rights when it comes to spending time with their families too.”last_img