Branson Paternity Leave

A policy allowing 50 weeks shared parental leave hit the United Kingdom back in April, but Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, a dude that owns subsidiaries in both the music and aerospace industries, didn’t think that was enough – for dads at least.

Branson just unveiled a policy at Virgin that gives new parents — both mothers and fathers — up to one year of fully-paid parental leave. But but but

The big BUT is that the policy only allows the 100% paid leave to employees that have been with Virgin for a minimum of four years. Employees with less time under their belts will be offered less, with a reported 25% pay for those at the company for less than two years.

The other hitch is the biggie: this policy only applies to employees of Virgin Management, the group responsible for investment and brand licensing within Virgin. The Independent suggests that this policy only affects about 140 people in the London and Geneva offices.

From Virgin’s press release:

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.

Nevertheless, this is a step in the right direction. In 2014, Branson also unhinged the Virgin vacation policy, allowing for staff to “take as much holiday as they want”.

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

Of the parental leave policy, Branson noted, “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.”

Meanwhile, the United States still offers zero paid parental leave. Go USA!