DLA Piper NZ unveils beefed-up parental leave policy

The firm says that the policy tops the government’s offering, granting parents full pay for 26 weeks

DLA Piper NZ unveils beefed-up parental leave policy

DLA Piper has unveiled a new parental leave policy that it said is “topping up what the NZ government is offering.”

Under the policy, primary carers will be granted full pay for 26 weeks, while secondary carers can avail of four weeks’ paid leave. The policy is backdated to take effect on 1 January this year.

Employees will be considered eligible for parental leave from their first day at the firm.

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“We’re really proud to offer this enhanced parental leave policy to our people. 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,” DLA Piper partner Misha Henaghan.

The firm added that it recognises different types of families, and that the primary carer is not necessarily a woman. Thus, the policy is being extended to cisgender, LGBTQI, surrogacy, adoption, foster care and kinship care.

In addition to full pay, employees’ Kiwisaver contributions will be sustained for the entire time they are on leave, being both paid and unpaid, the firm said.

DLA Piper has also brought in an external coach to ease parents through their return from leave, and has established a parental leave mentoring programme to facilitate the transition.

“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,” DLA Piper explained. 

The new parental leave policy complements the firm’s WorkSmart+ flexible working policy, under which all staff can work remotely for one or two days per week.

“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,” the firm said.

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