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Our Parental Leave Policies

Our parental leave policies provide paid leave of up to 18 weeks for primary parents and co-parents.

‘Primary parent’ refers to a mother of a newborn or the ‘main’ parent of a child who has been adopted. In adoption and surrogacy cases, the ‘main’ parent refers to the parent who will take the initial period of leave.

‘Co-parent’ refers to a father of a newborn baby, a partner of a mother who has recently given birth to a child (where the individual will have an active role in the child’s life), or a parent of a child who has been adopted, or a baby who is subject to a parental order under a surrogacy arrangement. In adoption and surrogacy, the co-parent refers to the parent who is not taking the initial period of leave.

Primary parents' entitlements to leave and pay

 Length of service Pay 
 Less than 26 weeks No entitlement 
 More than 26 weeks and less than one year Entitlement to statutory maternity pay (SMP) or statutory adoption pay (SAP) 
 One year  8 weeks parental leave pay, followed by 31 weeks lower rate SMP or SAP
 Two years  14 weeks parental leave pay, followed by 25 weeks lower rate SMP or SAP
 Four years  15 weeks parental leave pay, followed by 24 weeks lower rate SMP or SAP
 Six years  16 weeks parental leave pay, followed by 23 weeks lower rate SMP or SAP
 Eight years  17 weeks parental leave pay, followed by 22 weeks lower rate SMP or SAP
 10 years  18 weeks parental leave pay, followed by 21 weeks lower rate SMP or SAP
All primary parents are entitled to 52 weeks of parental leave, regardless of length of service. It is compulsory for mothers who have given birth to take at least two weeks' leave. 

Co-parents' entitlements to leave and pay

 Length of service  Pay
Less than 26 weeks One week, although two weeks leave may be taken within 56 days of the birth or adoption, regardless of length of service 
 More than 26 weeks and less than two years  Two weeks
 Two years 14 weeks  
 Four years  15 weeks 
 Six years 16 weeks 
 Eight years 17 weeks 
 10 years 18 weeks  

Two weeks of parental leave for co-parents must be taken within 56 days of the child being born or adopted, and the remainder as a continuous period within the first year following the primary parent’s return to work. There is no repayment required if a parent does not return to work when parental leave ends.


Statutory Parental Leave

The government’s statutory parental leave scheme gives parents the right to take one or more periods of unpaid leave to look after a child or make arrangements for their welfare. If you have a year’s service with us, you can apply to take up to 18 weeks per child, up to the age of 18, subject to a maximum of four weeks per year.

Shared Parental Leave

Shared Parental leave means parents can share a pot of leave in their child’s first year. Vitality employees are eligible to take Shared Parental Leave in addition to our enhanced Parental Leave provision.

Our Shared Parental Scheme follows government rules and rates of pay. Employees are advised to ensure that the timing of Shared Parental Leave does not impact eligibility for any company enhanced rates of pay. Our HR team are on hand to help with these decisions.