Our Maternity and Paternity Policies

Our maternity and paternity policy has been available internally to our team for a while now but we’ve never published it online. Spurred on by this tweet from Louise Parker and the subsequent work done by clockworkTalent, we’re publishing them in full today online so that anyone who is considering applying for a role at Aira now, or in the future, can see exactly what we offer. We believe that we offer a generous package for a company of our size but regularly review every one of our benefits and perks to see what we can do better. 

So, here it is, word for word.


This policy sets out key entitlements to maternity and paternity leave and pay. More information about your rights is found on the Government website at www.gov.uk or you can ask us for further information if you need it. We also support shared parental leave, whereby parents of a baby can share up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave between them, as long as they both meet certain eligibility criteria. Because this involves two people (usually working for different employers) the procedure we need to follow is quite complicated, so if you are interested in taking shared parental leave please come and talk to us about it so we can explain how it works. 

Maternity

If you have a baby whilst you are employed by Aira you are entitled to up to 52 weeks’ maternity leave, regardless of how long you have worked for us. You must take at least two weeks, starting the day your baby is born, but how much more you take is entirely up to you. To be entitled to receive Statutory Maternity Pay you need to have worked with us for at least 26 weeks. Statutory Maternity Pay is made up of the following:   

  • For the first six weeks of your leave, you will receive 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax)
  • For the next 33 weeks, you will receive the statutory rate, currently £148.68 per week, or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower)
  • You are then entitled to take another 13 weeks (52 in total) unpaid leave

At Aira, we offer a much better maternity pay package based on your length of service at the point you start your maternity leave. The following table shows what we offer. 

How it works

When you know you’re pregnant and comfortable sharing the news, tell us and let us know your due date. The sooner you let us know, the sooner we can do a health & safety risk assessment to ensure you are not placed at any risks at work whilst you are pregnant. You need to let us know at the latest 15 weeks before your due date and give us a MAT B1 form that you get from your doctor. We’ll also need to know an approximate date that you’d like your maternity leave to begin. The earliest you can start your maternity leave is 11 weeks before your expected due date. 

We will calculate your length of service from your start date at Aira and the date you begin your maternity leave. This will then dictate what your maternity pay will look like. 

During your maternity leave, your annual leave entitlement will accrue. At Aira, we offer unlimited holidays but for the purposes of accruing annual leave we use the statutory holiday which is 20 days plus the 8 bank holidays. During your maternity leave, this leave will accrue and you’ll be entitled to take them during the current or next calendar year when you return to work. You may wish to take some holiday before your maternity leave starts or at the end of it before you come back to work.

If you want to, whilst you are on maternity leave, you can come into work for up to 10 days without breaking your maternity leave. These are called ‘Keeping in Touch’ or KIT days. Please speak to us if this is something you would like to do, but there is absolutely no obligation.

If you come back to work within 26 weeks of starting your maternity leave you are entitled to come back to your old job, unless a genuine redundancy situation has arisen (in which case we would have let you know about it whilst you are on maternity leave). If you come back to work after that you are also entitled to your old job back unless there is some other reason why it is not reasonably practicable for this to happen. If that is the case, again unless there has been a genuine redundancy situation, then you are entitled to a similar role upon which the terms and conditions are at least the same as your original job. 

Paternity

As long as you have been employed by us for at least 26 weeks when your partner has a baby you are entitled to Statutory Paternity Pay which means that:

  • You can take up to 2 weeks off and earn the statutory paternity rate, currently £148.68 per week, or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).

At Aira, we offer a much better paternity pay package based on your length of service. The following table shows what we offer. 

How it works

When you know that you need to take paternity leave, tell us and let us know an approximate date when you expect your leave to begin. This can be flexible and change as the time approaches.

If your partner is giving birth, your leave cannot start before this happens, although we will of course be as flexible as we can.

You are also entitled to take time to accompany your partner (or the surrogate mother) to 2 antenatal appointments. If you’re adopting a child, you can get time off to attend 2 adoption appointments after you’ve been matched with a child.

Your length of service is calculated from your start date at Aira to the date that your paternity leave begins. This will dictate the pay that you receive. 

Mutual benefits and perks

When you start your maternity or paternity leave Aira will give you a one off cash payment (which will be subject to deductions for tax in the normal way) to use as you see fit for any reason to help with your childcare or adjusting to parenthood. This payment will depend on your length and service and will be as follows:

You can use the budget as you see fit on any of the following areas:

If both parents work for Aira then we only make one payment and you can decide whether to receive half each or whether to pay it to one parent. If you receive a payment from us and you do not return to us after your maternity or paternity leave, or if you do return but leave us within three months of your return then we reserve the right to ask you to pay the money back in full. We will ask you to sign a simple form to confirm our arrangement before we make the payment to you.

In addition, if you would like, we will arrange for up to two sessions from our mental health coach who will visit you at home within six months of your child being born. This is open to you and / or your partner.

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