Virgin Just Upped the Ante for Other Companies With Its New Parental Leave Policy

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ShutterstockVirgin Group founder Richard Branson
By Rachel Gillett

Until today, when you considered the best companies for working parents, you may have thought of companies like Facebook and Google.

Now Virgin is giving them a run for their money.

In an announcement Monday morning by Virgin Management, Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson and Virgin Management CEO Josh Bayliss blew other companies out of the water by releasing a shared policy of up to one year fully paid leave for new parents."This is a ground-breaking move from Virgin Management, which demonstrates that the health and wellbeing of our people is at our core," Bayliss said. Virgin is one of a few companies offering this kind of enhanced benefits package.

"Having a child is a life-changing experience and this policy means our employees have the opportunity to enjoy time with their families and have a great career," he said.

As of this April in the UK, home to Virgin Management, working parents can share leave in turns during the first year after the birth or adoption of a child.

Virgin's new policy extends this benefit to include pay for all new parents, including fathers and adoptive parents, up to 100% of their base salary. One parent, however, can't take a full year of paid leave alone — this time would have to be divided between parents.

Virgin Management employees in the UK and Geneva who have been with Virgin for less than two years will receive 25% of their pay, while employees that have been with the company for at least four years will receive the full portion.

"If you take care of your employees they will take care of your business," Branson said in the statement.

This is another step in the direction of work-life balance for Virgin employees. In 2014, Virgin implemented a policy of unlimited vacation days.

"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," Branson said. "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 to our work in changing business for good."
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