Deloitte UK is doubling paid leave from two to four weeks for any of the firm’s non-birthing parents – commonly known as paternity leave. Deloitte says the change in policy reinforces a culture of supporting working parents.

The new parenting policy will commence on 1 October 2019 for all Deloitte employees with 26 weeks or more continuous service with Deloitte. Any father, same sex spouse or partner, civil partner or adopter will be encouraged to take the additional leave. The leave can be taken in two blocks, one within the first 56 days of the birth and a second block anytime within the baby’s first year.

Deloitte also offers enhanced pay for shared parental leave with more than 200 people benefiting since it was introduced in 2015. It offers flexibility over how, when and who takes time off after a birth or adoption. It allows parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave choosing how to split the leave, enabling them both to have a greater involvement in their child's early years.

Dimple Agarwal, Deloitte managing partner for People & Purpose, said: “We’ve listened to feedback and understand that an increasing number of non-birthing parents want the opportunity to be able to play a more active parenting role – both in those first weeks and longer term. However, take-up numbers for this leave are disappointingly low and we are very keen to change this.

“Our recent research with DaddiLife, the UK's leading platform and community for millennial dads, surveyed more than 2,000 working fathers between the ages of 24 and 40. We found that more dads than ever (58%) are now actively involved in day-to-day parenting. But their employers don’t always make it easy for them.

“This promise to our Deloitte families is all part of our commitment to inclusion, where we are creating an environment of respect, dignity and belonging for all. What’s more, we’ve increased flexibility as to when and how this leave can be taken as we recognise that when it comes to family commitments, one size doesn’t fit all.”