Global law firm DLA Piper has been ahead of the curve on inclusiveness policies for some time. Now DLA Piper in New Zealand are leading the private practice legal sector again with their new parental leave policy.
The new policy takes large strides forward, topping up what the NZ Government is offering and committing to pay prospective parents their full salaries for 26 weeks. The new policy aligns with the firm’s informal flexible working policy, WorkSmart+, that enables all staff members to work one or two days a week from different locations.
DLA Piper emphasises that the policy embraces the diversity reflected in today’s families and applies to cisgender, LGBTQI, surrogacy, adoption, foster care and kinship care. It also recognises that the primary carer is not always the female.
The Firm also undertakes to keep in touch with new parents taking advantage of this policy, and to keep them engaged with their teams while on leave, so that there is no disadvantage in their career progression. In addition to offering support through an external coach for parental leave returners, a new parental leave mentoring programme is being created to support the transition back to work.
“We’re really proud to offer this enhanced parental leave policy to our people,” says DLA Piper Partner Misha Henaghan, “it recognises that our people are vital to us. It’s our investment in them to financially support them through parenthood. We know how crucial close parental connection is for young children.”
As well as the 26 weeks of primary carer paid parental leave, DLA Piper offers employees four weeks of paid parental leave for the secondary carer, continued Kiwisaver contributions for the duration of leave, being both paid and unpaid. People are eligible from day one at the firm, with the policy backdated to 1 January 2021.