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Published: 26 Jun 2024

Bank of England – Finalist 2024, Best for Fathers, sponsored by Rolls-Royce

For the Bank of England, supporting fathers is a crucial building block to ensuring individuality is valued and potential is reached. A robust family leave allowance enables families to make their own decisions about a child’s care in the first year and gender-neutral policies promote equality.  

Progressive Policies 

From day one, fathers and partners are entitled to paternity/partner leave and paid time-off for antenatal appointments. The Equal Parenting Policy allows an outstanding 26 weeks of fully paid leave to be taken at any time within the first 52 weeks of birth or adoption for all parents, regardless of gender. A variety of flexible working arrangements are available and opportunities for flexible working are proactively promoted. Inclusive language and non-gendered terms are used in policies.  

A Culture of Support 

Family networks are promoted during employee induction. The Parents+ Network plays a crucial role in leading on father issues, as well as offering specialised support groups for managing different stages of the school holidays, different pathways to parenthood and parenting challenges such as Special Educational Needs and conversations with teenagers. A mentoring scheme is available where fathers can be matched on request.  

There has been targeted learning around baby loss for fathers and partners. A workshop designed to break down taboos by dispelling myths and providing guidance for navigating difficult conversations was delivered, and bereaved fathers ran a learning session to discuss real life experiences and practical support. Managers are encouraged to attend training on balancing work and home life and have an objective to foster an inclusive working environment, and the organisation has a senior leader acting as a father champion, sending a positive message from the top. 

Measure of Success 

Membership of the Parents+ Network has doubled since 2019 with increased engagement from fathers, including 34% representation in the leadership team. The uptake of Shared Parental Leave has continued to rise year-on-year, indicating growing awareness and utilization of family-friendly policies.  

Looking towards the future, the Bank of England aims to continue to raise awareness of the policy to encourage uptake. The Parent + online community will be publishing blogs, podcasts and panel events to bring a personal element to the family leave policies, and father-specific support sessions and network events are planned.