Gamesys takes a step towards equality with parental leave
Gamesys, a global technology and online gambling organisation, has upped the take-up of fathers through shared parental leave by matching its shared parental pay to its enhanced maternity pay rate.
The organisation, which has 950 employees in the UK, including 700 based in London, enhanced its shared parental leave pay in May 2017 from statutory shared parental pay to its enhanced maternity pay rate. This allows both male and female employees to share 10 weeks of fully paid parental leave, as well as 16 weeks of leave at half pay, and 13 weeks at the statutory shared parental pay rate. The final 13 weeks are unpaid parental leave.
Alex Cooke, HR officer at Gamesys, said: “We just had a moral compass. Let’s try and go above [statutory shared parental pay] to provide absolute clarity for people and to encourage people to take it. [Shared parental leave] is a great thing in terms of giving fathers time off. We can do more to support fathers and enhance [shared parental leave pay], why wait until decisions are made in courts when it’s actually something that’s really good that we want to offer to people. It’s quite bespoke as well, so not many [organisations] do it.
“It’s very much a goodwill gesture. As [an organisation], this is what we want to do [to] support more flexible working. This is one of the reasons that we’ve done it. It’s an extra tool to do that.”
Before matching shared parental and enhanced maternity pay, one father-to-be at Gamesys had taken shared parental leave. In the year that the pay rate was enhanced, 10 male employees took the shared parental leave, and a further four plan to take it.
Gamesys decided to match its shared parental pay to its enhanced maternity pay in order to ensure that male employees were not at a disadvantage by taking leave to care for their newborn.
Originally, the firm had enhanced its maternity pay during January 2016, following feedback from its 2015 annual employee survey, conducted in May and June. The survey found that working mothers at the organisation needed more support.
Gamesys presented its enhanced shared parental leave pay using a policy document. It included graphs in order to demonstrate to employees how the process of taking leave works.
Statutory shared parental leave allows parents to obtain a shared 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of paid leave. Statutory shared parental leave pay is paid at the lower rate of £145.18 a week, or 90% of an employee’s weekly average.
Gamesys has 1,100 employees globally, operating across 8 different sites: Barcelona, Estonia, Gibraltar, London, Malta, New Jersey, Prague and Stoke. Around two-thirds of the organisation’s employees are male.