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Published: 20 Jun 2019

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield – Winner 2019, Best for Fathers

3 Key Points

  • Four weeks’ fully paid paternity leave available from ‘day one’.
  • Enhanced shared parental pay.
  • All formal flexible working requests from men approved.

“The process from getting guidance from HR, sitting down with my line manager to discuss my plans and finally applying for Shared Parental Leave has been seamless. At no point has my decision been questioned and it has been fully supported by all parties.”

Nick Keen, Brand Experience Manager


Fathers benefit from four weeks’ fully paid paternity leave, which they can use flexibly and is available from day one of employment. Enhanced shared parental pay of three months at full pay and three months at half pay was taken up by 31% of eligible fathers in 2018 and flexible working requests from men are routinely approved.

More than three quarters (78%) of new fathers took advantage of the company’s full four weeks paid paternity leave in 2018. Fathers can use the third and fourth weeks any time in the first 56 days after the birth of their child. They don’t have to take it all in one block.

Uptake of Shared Parental Leave is well above average and is encouraged at all levels.

Before fathers go on parental leave, they have a one-to-one with HR and their line manager to discuss their leave, the process and entitlements. They receive a Working Families Parental Leave Guide for extra information and support.

A Family Buddy scheme matches current parents with new and expectant fathers who are due to be away from work for at least three months, though fathers taking less time can also take part.

A workshop specifically designed for fathers and partners helps employees balance work with parenting responsibilities as well as offering peer support.

Flexible working is already common in the organisation and phased returns are available for fathers returning from leave. Nearly half (46%) of all flexible working requests in 2018 were from men and all were approved.

Fathers benefit from one paid ‘family’ or ‘personal’ day a year in addition to annual leave. This can be broken down to cover several events, such as antenatal appointments or school sports days.

Parents can take part in the company’s fun annual ‘bring your children to work day’.

All parental policies are influenced by employee feedback.