Aviva has launched a new carer policy for its UK employees, to help support people balancing their careers with caring responsibilities.
- Carers will be entitled to greater paid and unpaid time off
- Improved flexibility for employees with caring responsibilities
- Government has pledged to introduce statutory carer’s leave
The policy provides Aviva employees who are also carers with access to paid leave and the same entitlement as parents taking unpaid leave1. The new policy follows a successful pilot at the company’s Bristol site, where a support network was established earlier this year, to help people with caring commitments.
It also mirrors a pledge outlined in the Conservative Manifesto to give workers a new statutory entitlement to carer’s leave.
The policy will provide employees who have caring duties with a wide range of support and flexibility.
Policy benefits include:
- Up to 35 hours’ paid leave per holiday year for time off for a planned event, for example, to attend a hospital appointment with the person who is being cared for2.
- Up to 35 hours’ paid leave for emergencies per holiday year2.
- If circumstances mean employees with carer responsibilities need a longer period of time off, Aviva has extended parental leave (not to be confused with maternity/paternity leave), to include carers. This means that employees who have caring commitments can request unpaid leave up to four weeks per year (18 weeks in total)1.
- If an employee needs a more permanent change, they may request to adjust their working pattern. For example, they may wish to request part-time hours to help balance long-term carer duties with work.
- In addition, Aviva has increased bereavement leave from 35 to 70 hours.
The launch comes as part of a wider programme being rolled out at Aviva called Wellbeing@Aviva, which provides employees with a range of products, policies and advice to support their overall wellbeing.
Andy Briggs, CEO UK Insurance and Global Life and Health, Aviva, said: “Nearly one in eight UK workers currently combine working and caring commitments. Dealing with these dual responsibilities can be challenging and often unpredictable.
“Through the pilot in our Bristol office, we’ve recognised that a significant number of our employees have caring duties. We’ve also carried out independent research which revealed 83% of UK carers believe they should be treated by employers in the same way as parents - for example, having the right to take up to 18 weeks unpaid leave. Knowing this, we are very pleased to introduce this policy today to give further support to all of our UK colleagues.
“Changing demographics and an ageing population mean that three in five people in the UK will end up caring for someone at some point in their lives. So we’re taking this step now, to support our workers and the people they care about.”
- Nearly one in eight UK workers is a carer.
- By 2030, the number of carers in the UK will increase by 3.4 million (around 60%) to 9 million.
- There are 4.27 million carers of working age living in the UK; 2.44 million (57%) of these are women and 1.83 million (43%) are men.
- Three in five people will end up caring for someone at some point in their lives.
- Every year over 2.1 million adults become carers and almost as many people find that their caring responsibilities come to an end. This ‘turnover’ means that caring will touch the lives of most of the population.
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Aviva Press Office:
1. Please note: Parental leave should not be confused with maternity/paternity leave. Parental leave provides up to 18 weeks unpaid leave in total, with a maximum of four weeks unpaid leave in any one year, per child. This means a carer could take four weeks unpaid leave per year per person they are caring for from 2nd October (subject to a maximum cap of 18 weeks).
2. Pro-rata’d for part-time employees per holiday year.
3. Source: All statistics are from the Carers Trust charity.
Notes to editors:
- Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers.
- In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index.
- Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £340 billion in assets. Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £450 billion.
- Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £34.4 billion in benefits and claims in 2016.
- By serving our customers well, we are building a business which is strong and sustainable, which our people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society.
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